Getting married? Make sure you write a will

Date: Mar 29, 2012

Writing a will is something that everyone should make time for - having a valid document in place helps avoid estate disputes and any other problems that may arise after your death.

Although you may have written a will early on in life, this document will be rendered invalid as soon as you get married.

This is something that Australians may not necessarily be aware of, potentially leading a family to dispute a will.

This can create friction within a family unit, so it really is important to ensure your after-death wishes are laid out clearly to avoid such disagreements.

It is, however, possible to write a will prior to getting married that will be valid after the event, providing it is clearly stated that you intend this to be the case.

A good will should be drafted in such a way that avoids the likelihood of estate disputes arising, so any information you put in the document must be clear.

The ultimate purpose of a will is to state exactly what should happen to your money, property and any other assets once you have passed away.

If you have recently got married, it is common for the majority of the assets to be left to the spouse - although this situation may be complicated by previous marriages and children by other partners.

The best way to establish how your will is written is to speak to a wills and estate lawyer and those who you intend to leave your estate to.

This way they can be informed of your wishes and can be made aware of how to execute them once you have passed away.

Your new spouse should also ideally be involved in the process, so you can discuss how you intend to provide for each other should one of you no longer be around.

Another aspect of writing a will that you and your partner might want to consider is the executor you appoint.

An executor will be responsible for ensuring all your wishes are carried out as you intend, so this is not a decision that should be taken lightly.

It is essential that you select someone trustworthy and that you both agree on - they will have a very important job to do in the event of your death.

Making the individual you select aware of their obligations is wise, as some people may not realise the enormity of their task.