A contemplation clause is used when a party is contemplating either marriage or divorce at the time of making a will. This is a common occurrence, therefore having a contemplation clause in will is important when considering marriage or divorce.
In any event you get married after making a will, the old will is revoked. This will occur unless an exemption has been granted for the will. To ensure that a recently made will is not revoked a contemplation of marriage can be used.
However, it is important to take careful consideration when having a contemplation of marriage clause and this example will demonstrate why. Hypothetically we have two clients, Chris and Karen, Chris does not have a partner but decides he wants to make a will in 2000 and leaves his estate to his parents. He places a contemplation of marriage clause in the will to ensure that in any event he gets married his parents will still get the residue of the estate. Chris meets Karen in 2010 and they get married soon thereafter, Chris does not make a new will during that time and passes away in 2022. Normally the will from 2000 would be revoked upon marriage but because Chris had a contemplation of marriage clause in his will, his parents get their share of the estate.
In any event you have commenced proceedings or are considering the commencement of proceedings regarding a divorce, a contemplation of divorce clause can be used. A contemplation of divorce utilities the same principles as a contemplation of marriage clause. However, a contemplation of divorce clause is ensuring during the process of divorce, if something is to happen to you, the residue of your estate will go the beneficiaries that you nominate not your partner. If you are considering or have filed for divorce, you should consider creating a new will with a contemplation of divorce clause.
If you are in a de facto relationship , getting married , separated or divorced it is important to have your will up to date to reflect your circumstances. If you have any questions, you can give us a call at Adams and Partners for a friendly chat.
Written by Cameron Spanner.