As much as we would love to ‘set and forget’ our Will. Once it’s in place it is essential that we ensure it is updated if circumstances change.
The Supreme Court is full of heartbreaking stories were beneficiaries missed out on an estate because a Will was found to be invalid for the simple reason that it was not updated.
Here are the top 9 reasons for updating your Will.
You’ve relocated to another state
Wills are governed by state law. Meaning that the state where a person was living prior to passing is the one where the rules will apply. So it is important if you are planning a permanent sea change including selling all your property in one state and moving to another that you update your Will under the laws of your new home state.
If you left your real property to your children in your Will, but have now sold up and are using the money as a bond for a nursing home, that may mean that your children could likely miss out! Misunderstandings and errors lead to costly contesting of Wills, a quick call to your lawyer to double check all is in order could save $$$.
You’ve left someone a gift
If either you no longer own the gift that you wanted to give them in the first place OR you no longer want them to get that gift means it is time for a review.
You start or end a relationship
In NSW, ending a marriage or de facto relationship or starting a new one will render your previous Will void. So, it crucial that you ensure yours is updated.
A beneficiary has died or their circumstances have changed
If a beneficiary has passed or unfortunately has become a gambler, addict or very irresponsible with money, you probably will want to consider other options than leave the money to them directly.
One of your children becomes your care giver
Many parents promise their children a larger share of the estate for being their long-term carer. If oral promises have been made, then it is important that these promises are reflected in the Will (with an explanation), to avoid Will contests.
You become estranged from someone
We all wish that our close relationships remain constant. Unfortunately, there are many times when the end result is estrangement. If you are estranged from someone and it is common knowledge to all you know, then it is critical that you state in the Will why you are still gifting this person a portion even though they are estranged from you or clearly state that you have removed them from your Will because you have become estranged.
You start or end a business or family trust
Businesses and trusts are not covered under ‘standard’ Will clauses. As sources of incomes and asset protection; who controls them and who benefits only from them, is often a matter of careful thought and consideration. The importance of having clear directions for each in a Will cannot be understated.
You support a different charity
As a result of life’s circumstances, you may find yourself supporting a different charity than before or supporting 2 or more instead of just the one. To ensure these charities benefit from your estate, ensure that your Will is updated.
Unsure where to start? Give us a call now on 1300 44 55 75 to check whether you need to update your Will.
By Nadia Messiha