A question we often get asked is ‘When, or how often, should one review their Will?’. While a Will should be reviewed periodically, our rule of thumb is to review it either every 3 years or whenever a significant life event takes place, depending on what comes first.
This article will share examples of significant life events that may require you to review your Will and shares some questions you can ask yourself when reviewing your Will.
What constitutes a significant life event?
Life events that change the effect of your Will include:
- Marriage/ Divorce
- Death of a family member
- Birth of a child or grandchild
- Purchase or sale of a large asset (such as a property)
- Your executor or a beneficiary dies/ loses capacity
- Your beneficiary has been declared bankrupt
- An estrangement between you and a beneficiary or family member
- You become involved in a new business, company or trust
- There is a significant change to your financial situation or assets
If you experience any of the above life events it is important to remember to review your Will and make any necessary changes. This can be done by means of a codicil which is a legal document that can be used to make alterations to an existing Will. However, if significant or multiple changes are required, it is prudent to consider making a new valid Will which should clearly state that it revokes all previous Wills.
Important things to consider
A Will is a legal document which, amongst other things, allows you to choose who has the authority to deal with your estate and who receives the benefit of your assets when you die.
Some questions you can ask yourself when reviewing your Will are:
- Have I acquired or disposed of any assets?
- Has the value of my estate changed and, if so, does the distribution thereof need to change?
To ensure that your Will is up-to-date and still accurately reflects your wishes it is prudent to review it at least every 3 years or when any significant life event takes place. If you are in the process of reviewing your Will and have any questions or need further assistance please contact our experienced Wills and Estates Lawyers through our website or call us on (08) 9381 1147.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or establish a solicitor-client relationship. The content is provided as is, without express or implied warranties of any kind or considering your circumstances. This article is not intended to be a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a solicitor. Readers are encouraged to consult their legal advisors for specific legal advice tailored to their needs. No reader should act or refrain from acting based on this article’s information without seeking professional legal advice.