Marriage Act Changes

With the recent changes in the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth), marriage is now legal for ‘2 people’ of any gender. Queensland same-sex couples now considering marriage should be aware of the impact of these changes and how they apply to them, particularly in relation to wills:

  • A will made prior to any marriage will be substantially or wholly revoked unless there was contemplation of a marriage within the will itself. This contemplation can be stated in the will or implied. If marriage is contemplated, then the will continues to be valid.
  • If any couple divorces or receives an annulment, any gifts and appointments to each other are revoked. Individual circumstances vary and become complex when involving children and family trusts. Legal advice is highly recommended.

The new changes also affect powers of attorney:

  • A prior power of attorney comes to an end if any couple is to get married. This is so unless the enduring power of attorney document states otherwise.
  • Upon divorce or annulment, the power of attorney is revoked.

With all of the changes and marriage laws now applying to all couples, legal advice is essential to ensure wills and powers of attorney are up to date and valid.