So, you’ve finally got around to preparing your Will and have crossed it off your ‘to do’ list.
Congratulations on taking that step, but don’t rest easy just yet. Even if you have a Will in place, you do need to regularly review it to ensure that it properly reflects your life’s circumstances.
The following is a list of particular “triggers” that you should keep in mind when deciding whether or not you should consult with a solicitor about updating your Will:
1. Marriage. If you marry after making your Will, it will be revoked by law (unless they are expressly made in contemplation of that marriage) and you should consult with your lawyer if you plan to marry.
2. Divorce. If you divorce after making your Will, the divorce will revoke parts of your Will, including clauses regarding bequests to your former spouse and any appointment of them as an executor, trustee, or guardian (unless you've made specific intentions to the contrary clear in your Will).
3. You should consult with your lawyer in any other circumstances where an alteration to your estate planning documents may become desirable, and particularly:
a. if you change your name, or anyone mentioned in the estate planning documents changes theirs;
b. if an Executor dies or becomes unsuitable to act due to age, ill-health, etc;
c. if a beneficiary of your Will dies, becomes bankrupt, or separates from their spouse;
d. if you specifically leave any property in your Will which you subsequently sell, or which changes its nature;
e. if your family situation changes, for example by separation from your spouse (including de facto spouse); divorce proceedings, or other matrimonial problems, or if there are additional children/grandchildren to consider; or
f. if your financial circumstances change.
If you need assistance in relation to estate planning matters, please give Jenkins Legal Services a call on 02 4929 2000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This article is not legal advice and the views and comments are of a general nature only. This article is not to be relied upon in substitution for detailed legal advice