Divorce and your Will…

2022-08-15

ARE YOU A QUANTUM CLIENT? GET WILL DRAFTED OR UPDATED BY A QUALIFIED ATTORNEY FREE OF CHARGE!!!

When marital bliss sets in and couples decide to get married whether in community of property, out of community of property or with the accrual, it is particularly common that spouses also update or draft a will that nominates their significant others as the sole beneficiary of their respective deceased estates. But what happens when things go wrong? What happens if things go so wrong, that you divorce?

If you do not have a new will drafted or update your current will within three months of getting divorced, your estate will still go to your ex-spouse.

The Wills Act in South Africa governs how wills are executed and it specifically deals with the situation where a person dies after divorce.

Section 2B essentially says where a testator/trix dies within three months of his/her marriage having been dissolved by divorce, then the will in place, will be interpreted and executed as if the former spouse passed away before the deceased. This means your ex-spouse is regarded as passing away before yourself, which means that he/she will not inherit in terms of the will unless the will still specifically states he/she will inherit. This section applies to civil marriages, civil unions and customary marriages conducted in terms of the relevant legislation.

It is essential to understand that if you do not update your will within three months of getting divorced, it is assumed that you did not want to make any amendments to the will and accordingly the provisions therein will remain valid and applicable. Your ex-spouse will accordingly inherit everything, regardless of the divorce.

What you need to consider when getting divorced…..

After getting divorced, it is important to consider and amend the following before the three month period expires:

  • Does my nominated beneficiary/ies of my retirement funds need to be amended?
  • Does my nominated beneficiary/ies of my life insurance policies need to be amended?
  • Is my will in line with my wishes post-divorce?
  • If you have minor children, does your will make provision for a testamentary trust and the trustees?
  • If you have minor children, does your will make provision for legal guardians?

If you need help updating your will, whether it be because of divorce or any other life changing events, please feel free to contact Dominique at dominique@quantumwealth.co.za. It is part of our client services to update all our client’s wills free of charge!!!

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