When helping clients prepare Wills, it is common to receive these instructions ‘Everything goes to my spouse and then to the kids equally”.

The surviving spouse often ends up with the jointly owned assets and superannuation too.

When the surviving spouse passes away, are the kids going to get everything in equal shares?  Maybe not.

One event that may disrupt this common estate plan is when the surviving spouse re-partners.

Let’s say, after you pass away, your spouse re-partners or re-marries.

A few issues arise:

  1. The surviving spouse’s Will is revoked by the marriage.  A new Will should be made.
  2. If the new Will gives nothing to the new spouse, the new spouse may challenge it.
  3. The new Will may include the new spouse as a beneficiary so the kids won’t get everything equally.
  4. The new marriage may not last and assets may be depleted in a Family Law dispute

There are, however, some strategies that can be adopted so the kids don’t miss out.

Another reason why you should always get advice on your estate plan.