Wills, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardians

When to draft a new Will after separation?

Navigating the sensitive waters of separation or divorce is often accompanied by a series of significant life changes, including financial adjustments, changes in living arrangements, and emotional upheaval. One essential aspect that might be overlooked during this tumultuous time is reviewing and potentially revising your Last Will and Testament (‘Will’). As your Will is a legal document that outlines how your assets and belongings will be distributed after your passing. It is, therefore, crucial to assess after a separation whether your existing will still reflect your wishes and circumstances accurately.


Change in Beneficiaries

One of the most compelling reasons to update your Will after separation is a change in beneficiaries. Your previous Will may have named your former spouse or partner as a beneficiary, but post-separation, your intentions might have shifted. To ensure that your assets are distributed according to your current wishes, it’s essential to review and adjust beneficiary designations.


Removal of Former Spouse as Executor

In many Wills, spouses or partners are appointed as executors—the individuals responsible for administering the estate. After a separation, you may decide that your former spouse is no longer the appropriate choice for this role due to changed circumstances or personal reasons. Writing a new Will allows you to appoint an executor who is better suited to fulfil this responsibility.


Financial Changes & Property Ownership

Separation often leads to significant financial changes. If you and your former partner owned property together, such as a house or other assets, you may need to reevaluate how these assets will be distributed upon your passing. You may acquire new assets, change the ownership of existing ones, or modify your financial goals. Your Will should reflect your updated financial circumstances to ensure that your assets are distributed in alignment with your current situation.


Legal Implications & Avoiding Legal Challenges

In some jurisdictions, the law might automatically revoke certain provisions of your Will in the event of a separation or divorce. However, this does not cover all aspects of your Will. To ensure that your entire Will is in line with your post-separation wishes, it’s advisable to write a new Will that addresses all relevant matters.

Failing to update your Will after a separation can potentially lead to legal challenges. If your Will does not accurately reflect your current situation and intentions, it might be contested by beneficiaries who feel they are entitled to a share of your estate.


Peace of Mind

Perhaps the most compelling reason to write a new Will after separation is the peace of mind it provides. A separation is a life-altering event that can prompt the need for significant adjustments, including revising your Will. By taking the time to reassess your estate planning and make necessary adjustments, you can rest assured that your assets are distributed in line with your current intentions and circumstances.

Securing your family’s future begins with careful estate planning. Our team can assist you in creating comprehensive and forward-looking plans that reflect your wishes, protect your assets, and minimise potential conflicts. By proactively addressing your Will after a separation, you can ensure that your legacy reflects your post-separation wishes and offers clarity for your loved ones during a challenging time.

Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration

Guidance through Sensitive Transitions

Losing a loved one is undoubtedly a challenging experience, and dealing with the legal aspects of their estate can add further stress. Our compassionate team provide empathetic guidance, ensuring that you are informed about your rights and options while allowing you the space to grieve and heal.


Understanding Probate

Probate is a legal process that verifies the authenticity of a deceased person’s Will and grants the executor the authority to administer the deceased’s estate according to their wishes. This process ensures that the deceased’s assets are distributed correctly and efficiently, and it also provides a legal framework for resolving any potential disputes.

An application is required to be made to the Supreme Court of NSW and includes the original Will, a list of assets and liabilities, and other relevant documents. The Court will review the application to ensure its validity and that the executor is appropriately authorised to act on behalf of the estate.


The Role of the Executor

The executor is the individual named in the Will to oversee the probate process. Their responsibilities include applying for probate, collecting and valuing the deceased’s assets, paying off debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries. Executors have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries, making their role a crucial one.


Obtaining a Grant of Probate

Obtaining a Grant of Probate or Administration can be an intricate and time-consuming process. Our legal team will guide you through the steps of probate and estate administration, ensuring that all legal requirements are met while streamlining the process as much as possible.

Once the court is satisfied with the application, it issues a “Grant of Probate.” This document officially recognises the Will’s validity and authorises the executor to carry out their duties. The executor can then proceed with the administration of the estate, including distributing assets and settling debts.

Estate Disputes

Resolving Estate Disputes

While probate is intended to provide a smooth transition of assets, challenges and disputes can arise. Disputes may revolve around the validity of the Will, claims by potential beneficiaries who were excluded, or concerns about the executor’s actions.

Estate disputes can be an emotional strain and potential legal battles. Our team are adept at mediating and resolving conflicts, striving for amicable resolutions that preserve relationships and honour the intentions of the deceased.

If you are seeking guidance on estate matters in NSW, we are here to serve as your trusted advisor. Our commitment to professionalism, integrity, and client-centred service is the foundation of our firm. Let us help you navigate the intricate terrain of estate law, providing you with the peace of mind that comes from having an experienced and caring team in your corner.


Don’t leave it any longer. Start creating your last will and testament today with our simple intake form. Once completed, a member of our team will contact you to advise of your next steps to ensure your wishes are heard.