A Will is a written statement of the way in which a person wishes to have his or her property distributed after their passing. Anyone over the age of 18 years who has the necessary capacity may make a Will.
Following the passing of the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, marriage is now defined under the Marriage Act as “the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” This means the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages must now recognise any such marriage.
Under the Succession Act 2006 a Will is revoked upon marriage. For many same-sex couples, this means that their estate planning may need to be revised as their Wills may no longer be valid.
If you are contemplating marriage and the gifts specified in your Will are not conditional upon your marriage taking place, your Will should specify this. Unless there is a provision in your Will which states that your Will is not conditional upon marriage, or is made in contemplation of Marriage, contrary to your wishes, your Will may be considered revoked should you marry.
It is always a good idea to revise the terms of your Will every few years, or as your personal circumstances change, to make sure the contents of your Will still represents your wishes. If you have any questions regarding this article or require assistance reviewing your estate planning, please contact us on (02) 9525-8688.