Do I need to review my Will? You have a Will. You actually prepared one years ago. Great. Job done, right? Unfortunately, no.
The recommendation is that you review your Will every year or two to check that it still reflects your wishes. There are a number of significant life events that can affect your estate planning in the future and when such an event happens it should alert you to immediately review, and possibly update, your Will. Significant life events include:
Relationship status change
A change in your relationship status may or may not revoke your Will. For example:
- separate or become estranged from a spouse (including a marital partner or civil partner), these events generally will not have the effect of automatically revoking your Will
- if you separate from a de facto partner, then this may revoke your Will
- if you enter into a de facto relationship, then this will not revoke your Will
- in the event you divorce, marry, or commence or terminate a civil partnership, your Will may be automatically revoked (either partially or fully).
If you or someone mentioned in the Will changes their name.
If an executor dies or becomes unsuitable to act due to age or ill-health.
A beneficiary or potential beneficiary dies.
You have a child or additional children.
A beneficiary suffers a major life event such as separation, bankruptcy or disability. There are different types of Wills which may be more suitable to protect vulnerable beneficiaries.
If you have specifically made a gift under your Will which you subsequently sell or otherwise dispose.
Significant change to your assets and liabilities
If there is a significant change to your asset and liability position, such that upon your death, your estate will be insolvent (i.e. your liabilities exceed your assets).
If any of these life events occur, it will be necessary for you to have your estate plan reviewed and potentially make a new Will to help ensure that your wishes are carried into effect.
Should you wish to amend your Will at any time consult with your solicitor to ensure that the required legal formalities are followed, otherwise your new wishes may not take effect and you may invalidate your current Will.
If you would like to review or discuss your estate plan, talk to us. We’re here to help.