Amendments to the Succession Act 1981

The world is becoming more complex and as a result, the nuclear model of the traditional Australian family no longer applies today.

In keeping with the times, protecting your interest and those of your family, there are unique challenges in wills and estate planning.

Nobody wants to think about the possibility of the death of a loved one, but the reality is we must plan for the unthinkable in the event of a family tragedy.

There are new laws that affect all families, and particularly defacto couples. Crouch & Lyndon have solicitors that will help you tackle the challenges of family estate planning.

The news laws that may affect you or someone you know are the following:

Amendments to The Succession Act 1981

What you need to know

Effect of end of de facto relationship on a will

  • The Succession Act from June 2017 will now provide that when a de facto relationship ends, any disposition to the former de facto partner in the will, any appointment of the former de factor partner or any grant made of a power of appointment exercisable by, or in favour of, the former de facto partner is revoked, similar to the effect of a divorce.  It will therefore be relevant, when administering a deceased estate, to determine whether any of the dispositions, appointments or grants in the will have in fact been made to a former de facto partner, which may not be obvious on the face of the will.
Meaning of stepchild has also changed
  • Amendments now refer not just to stepchildren in marriages but also to stepchildren in civil partnerships and de facto relationships.  Therefore, if a deceased had been in a civil partnership or de facto relationship with a parent and the relationship ended only because of the parent’s death, the children of that deceased civil or de facto partner will remain as “stepchildren” of the deceased and eligible as family provision applicants.  This will be the case even if the deceased person re-married, entered into a new civil partnership or formed a new de facto relationship after the parent’s death. This amendment will be relevant to deceased estates when considering potential family provision applicants and stepchildren of a deceased immediately prior to their own parent’s death and who may still have standing to make a family provision claim as a stepchild of the deceased.
If you are concerned that these changes may affect you now or in the future, we are able to assist you in updating your will for the protection of your loved ones. Phone  us on 07 3221 2527 or email us.