Do you need to update your Will?

3 June 2024

Ellen Muller | Rees R & Sydney Jones

Ellen Muller

Solicitor, Wills & Estates

It is often understood that a Will is a ‘set-and-forget’ document and that once it is in place it never requires review or updating. Unfortunately, this generally is not the case...

Most individuals will be required to review their Will more than once during their lifetime.

It is a general rule that your Will should be reviewed every 12 months, or whenever your life circumstances change. If your life circumstances have changed, then these changes could have the potential to partially or fully revoke your Will which means your estate may not be distributed in accordance with your intentions. For example, if any of the below life events occur during your lifetime then we strongly recommend that you make arrangements to review your Will:

  • you separate or become estranged from a spouse (including marital partner or civil partner);
  • you divorce, marry or commence or terminate a civil partnership;
  • you have a child or children that you have not provided for under your current Will; or
  • a beneficiary mentioned in your Will dies and there are no successive beneficiaries named in your Will.

In addition to the above life events, it is also important that you continue to review your Will if you are gifting specific assets or gifts under your Will to a named beneficiary and any of the following occur:

  • you sell or mortgage that asset; or
  • you transfer that asset to a different entity (ie. to a self-managed superannuation fund or to be jointly held with another individual).

If any of the above occur then the clause in which you have gifted that asset to your beneficiary/s will fail.

If you haven’t reviewed your Will in the last 12 months, or if any of your life circumstances as described above have changed, then please contact our Wills and Estates team to assist you to ensure your Will is drafted in accordance with your current intentions.

 

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