How often should you review your will? Signing and completing your will is not a one time deal. In fact, it is highly recommended that you continue to update and review your will long after you have first completed it. Your circumstances can change suddenly and it is best that you keep your will updated in order to ensure that you are best prepared for these events. At a minimum, you should be reviewing your will every 3-5 years. However, there are some significant life events which should require you to immediately interview your will.
Review Your Will: Marriage and Divorce
When you get married, your last will is automatically revoked. That is why it is very important to make sure you update your will. In most cases, you will create a will that includes your new spouse – or you’ll both write a new will each. A divorce is also an appropriate time to review your will, as you’ll probably want to remove your ex from your will, your assets will have changed, and you may wish to make new arrangements for your children. Your partner may also no longer be listed as a dependent for your super or for your life insurance, therefore it is very important to not only review your will but also your complete estate plan after divorce or marriage.
If your adult children either get divorced or married, you should also review your will. You may wish to include their partner as beneficiaries of your will, or you may likewise want to remove them from receiving anything from your will. It’s important to remember that any inheritance your adult children receive can be included in the marital pool of assets during a divorce.
Change of Assets
In some cases, you may sell a large asset, like your house, shares or other investments. In this scenario, you may need to review your will. If you specifically name assets in your will, you’ll need to review your will on any occasion that you add or remove an asset. It is best you seek legal advice to ensure your estate planning remains up to date. You should also review your will and seek advice when you buy a large asset that may need to be included into your will.
Your will and your estate planning may need reviewing under other circumstances, including the birth of any children or grandchildren or the death of one of your beneficiaries. With each new addition into your family, you may wish to include them into the will so when you pass away, they receive a portion of your estate. Or when a beneficiary dies, you will have to remove them from your will, and possibly replace them with another beneficiary or give their portion to another.
You should also adjust your will if a trustee or executor dies or is unable to fulfil their duty. These people play an important role in administering your estate when you pass away, and having no executor or trustee may cause a large range of issues. Enormous obligations are cast upon an executor to gather in the estate, pay all testamentary debts and expenses and to distribute the estate in a correct and legal way. While it is important to quickly replace your executor, do not rush into any decisions. This person should be someone you trust and believe would do an adequate job in completing your wishes.
You should also review your will if you have sudden changes in your family, like the change of a partner or a financial situation. This could have a huge impact on the structure of your family and you may therefore wish to make changes to your will. It’s not just your will that requires reviewing; it also includes all the other elements of your estate planning. For instance, you may have a super fund or life insurance. These are not directly covered by your will and require separate arrangements.
Making or changing a will, usually referred to as estate planning, addresses two basic questions: What should happen to what I own when I die? What if I lose my mental capacity before I die?
Our estate planning service will provide you with peace of mind after finalising your will and making any other necessary arrangements. We also ensure that following your death, those who will administer and benefit from your will are more likely to enjoy peace of existence.
Estate planning and creating a will may seem like a difficult process, especially if you are concerned about regularly reviewing your will. However, if you seek the correct legal advice from a specialist in wills and estate, the process does not have to be difficult.
Contact us today for your free, 10-minute phone consultation.