Making a will is essential for everyone, but especially if you are in a 2nd relationship!
There is no doubt that a Will is an important document. A Will directs who is to receive your assets on death and, more importantly, grants legal authority to a person(s) of your choosing (your executor) the right to deal and transact on your assets.
However, for people in a 2nd relationship with blended families, making a Will is essential. This is because of the way the intestacy rules operate in Victoria.
If you fail to make a Will, the law will direct how your assets are to be divided. If you die leaving a spouse/partner and a child from a previous relationship, then your spouse/partner will only receive:
- an amount equal to the statutory legacy, $499,210 as at 30 June 2023;
- your personal chattels; and
- one-half of the balance of your estate.
The other one-half of your assets will pass to your children.
Given that it is highly likely that the value of an average house will exceed $500,000, if you fail to make a Will you leave your partner exposed to the possibility that they will need to either sell the matrimonial home or buy-out their step-children if they wish to remain in the matrimonial home.
If you have been putting off making your Will for any reason, then we encourage you to consider the impact dying without a Will will have on your particular circumstances.
I should also note that if you die with both a legal spouse and a partner (ie. you have not finalised a divorce with your first spouse) then the situation will be even more difficult and unclear for your current partner as they may be required to share your estate between them unless they can otherwise agree!