Why All Same-Sex Newlyweds Must Review Their Wills


Gay couple

All same-sex couples who were recently married or plan to wed are being urged to update their wills to reflect their marital status.

Peter Carne, the Public Trustee of Queensland, said a will needs to be reviewed after major life changes, including marriage, which will invalidate an existing will.

“If your will hasn’t been updated when you marry, and you have beneficiaries who are not your spouse, they will not receive the gifts under your will,” he said.

“Also, if you have appointed an executor other than your spouse to administer your estate, that appointment will not take effect.”

Australia’s first same-sex weddings officially began earlier this month after the the marriage equality legislation came into effect last month.

From December 9, thousands of same-sex couples who had previously married in embassies or in overseas jurisdictions automatically became married under Australian law.

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said all couples needed to be aware of the legal implications.

“Taking the time to plan now can save your loved ones untold conflict at a time of grief and loss,” she said.

“With 16 offices across the state, the Public Trustee’s self-funded free will-making service means adult Queenslanders can get a valid will at no cost.

“Whether people go to the Public Trustee or their solicitor, it’s all about making sure Queenslanders have these important documents in place.”

Mr Carne said there were many other occasions where reviewing a will was advisable.

“Turning 18, going overseas, marriage or entering a de facto relationship, divorcing, buying a property and having a child are also all good times to review your will to ensure it’s up-to-date,” he said.

For more information, visit the Public Trustee of Queensland’s website here.