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Wills and Estate Planning | SMSF Will | Testamentary Trust Will | Melbourne

Relationship Breakdown - Time to Review your Will

For every life changing event, you might need to revise your Will. If your relationship has broken down, you should review your Will and make any changes necessary.

We also recommend that you have a Binding Financial Agreement in place that is consistent with the terms of your Will. We work with Lewis Holdway Lawyers who are Accredited Specialists in Family Law. We can arrange for you to meet with a Family Lawyer at our offices, even during the same appointment to review your Will.

Why do we recommend a Binding Financial Agreement alongside a Will?

Binding Financial Agreements are a good tool to:

  • Protect assets you may have already had at the start of a relationship
  • Provide for children of a previous relationship
  • Protect your business interests and future income streams
  • Protect a future inheritance
  • Determine the split of any assets a couple receives in the future
  • Set out what happens with gifts, inheritances and windfalls
  • Determine arrangements for any future children

A Binding Financial Agreement can be signed at any point in the relationship, regardless of whether it is the start, middle or end.

Is a Binding Financial Agreement legally valid?

Yes, provided that:

  • It is drafted correctly
  • Both parties received independent legal advice
  • A lawyer signs a certificate attached to the Agreement

Binding Financial Agreements are, as the name says, a legally binding document.  A will is, however, a wish and can be overturned by a Court.  Whilst a Court could overturn a Binding Financial Agreement, the test to do this is much stricter than setting aside a Will, as is generally based on an error in the drafting of the document or a failure by one of the parties to successfully disclose information.

What happens if you don’t have a Binding Financial Agreement?

If you don’t have a Binding Financial Agreement in place, you are potentially risking:

  • An expensive litigation process between the parties
  • Losing assets you brought into the relationship
  • Losing some or all of an inheritance
  • Complications in Testator Family Maintenance claims about the intention of the parties at the time of making a Will.

If you need to revise your Will following a relationship breakdown, please talk to us about whether you need a Binding Financial Agreement as well.

Ready to find out more?

Lewis Holdway Lawyers have a dedicated Family Law website where you can learn more about topics such as:

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Legal Essentials

+61 9326 2627
admin@legalessentials.com.au

Level 2, 91 William Street, Melbourne, 3000

P.O. Box 138, Collins Street West, Victoria 8007

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