Separating from your adult interdependent partner (“AIP”) or divorcing from your spouse is a very emotional and trying time. Likely the last thing on your mind is whether you need to update or revise your will; unfortunately, this is important and something you should put your mind to.
After the new Wills and Succession Act came into effect in 2012, if you separate from your AIP or are legally divorced from your spouse, the law deems your former AIP or former spouse to have predeceased you. This has the effect of revoking any beneficial interest in property that you left to them as well as revoking any appointment of your former AIP or former spouse as the executor of your estate, trustee or a guardian of your children.
However, if, when interpreting your will, a Court finds that despite your separation or divorce, you still intended your former AIP or former spouse to receive the gift or to still act as your executor, trustee or guardian, these gifts and appointments will not be revoked.
If you are divorced, going through a divorce or are separating from your AIP, consider talking with a lawyer about updating your will. It is better to have your intentions clearly stated rather than leaving it up to a Judge to decide!