Changing Your Will

Article Nicolas Moore, Conor Sheridan 26 July 2021

All too often people adopt a ‘set and forget’ attitude towards estate planning.  Whilst it is especially important to ensure you have a legally binding Will and the right estate planning tools in place, it is also important to review them now and again and update them after key events in your life.  CDQ’s experienced Wills and Estates lawyers can provide advice on how and when you should update your Will.

 

Why should you update your Will?

There are a number of reasons why you may need to update your Will.  For instance, certain events in life – such as a marriage - automatically revoke or invalidate a Will that was made prior to the event.  These events will also revoke any Enduring Guardianship appointments or other estate plans you may have in place.

Similarly, a good estate plan will also cover assets that you cannot pass under your Will, such as your superannuation or assets in a family trust or company and you may need to review and update the arrangements for these in your overall estate plan.

 

When should you update your Will?

CDQ’s Wills and Estates lawyers generally encourage clients to revisit their estate plan and update their Will every five years or so.  Examples of specific events that should prompt you to update your Will include:

  1. If your financial circumstances change significantly (for example you may be lucky enough to win lotto or inherit assets, or you may find yourself in a difficult position financially for some reason)
  2. A change in family circumstances such as a new marriage, a new relationship, separation or divorce, the arrival of children or grandchildren.
  3. A beneficiary under your current Will dies.
  4. The person you appointed as an Executor of your current Will passes away or becomes unsuitable to act due to age or ill-health.
  5. You sell or give away assets that are specifically mentioned in your current Will.
  6. The business entities or financial structures you hold assets in (such as a family business) change.

The most important thing to ensure is that any updates to your Will and overall estate plan are completed correctly and take into account all of the necessary implications.  Trying to update your Will yourself may render the document invalid and your estate may not be distributed according to your wishes. 

Our experienced Wills and Estates lawyers can look at your estate plan as a whole and ensure that it accurately reflects your wishes, as well as reducing the risk of legal complications or disputes down the track.  For more information on updating a Will or estate planning contact Nicolas Moore or Conor Sheridan at CDQ on ph: 02 8556 0130.

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