WESA Section 56 and Spouses
This is the fourth blog on the upcoming WESA legislation to be introduced March 13, 2014.
The previous blogs on aspects of the new legislation were dated October 31, November 11, and November 30.
There will be dramatic changes introduced in the legislation with respect to spouses.
S 56 (2) ieliminates the categories of judicial separation, divorce and nullity under the Wills Act, and instead simply states that an appointment or a gift to the surviving spouse is revoked if the spouses have ceased to be spouses as defined by the act, namely:
1) They have lived separate and apart for at least two years with one or both having an intention to live separate and apart permanently, or
2) if any event occurs that leads to a division of assets under the Family Law act.
In the case of common-law couples living in a marriage like relationship, the parties cease to be spouses on one or both of them terminate the relationship.
Thus if spouses separate and neglect to renew their wills, the out-of-date dated wills will automatically become outdated in the circumstances described above, and any appointments and gifts to the former spouse made there under will be revoked.