Time to scare you a bit!
Around 98% of Sunshine Coast and Noosa area couples who come to chat about their wedding don’t have a valid will.
Why? Well most of us never think much about kicking the bucket when we are young as we think that is what happens to older people, or we don’t think we have any worthy assets.
Sadly though, we can all die at anytime (sorry, this sounds a bit morbid).
If you die without a will, you have died ‘intestate’ and your property, assets and debts will then be distributed by the courts.
What does that mean for a defacto or engaged couple?
Firstly, all your assets are ‘frozen’ until the court can determine who is entitled to what, this can take many months. Even joint bank accounts are locked up – which isn’t a good thing if you have a joint mortgage.
The court then determines who gets what from your estate. Usually the defacto spouse is the main beneficiary but not necessarily! If there are children involved, that complicates the distribution process. To make it even more complicated (and the lawyers richer), ex partners, parents, siblings and friends can put in a claim.
Can you imagine how stressful this must be for the surviving partner? Such a terrible and expensive experience for them to go through on top of losing their loved one.
But it is easy to fix – GET A WILL.
If you make out a will prior to your wedding, please ensure your lawyer includes a clause that states that the will shall remain current upon marriage. Because when you get married, any previous wills are considered null and void (unless you have that clause).