Ensuring your Will is being regularly updated to reflect your ever changing life circumstances is absolutely vital to make sure your Estate ends up being distributed precisely as you wish.
When a Will hasn’t been updated for some time and there are significant changes to the Estate, this can present a potential issue when it comes to the administration of the Estate and it may become a legal dispute between potential beneficiaries, which is certainly not something anyone needs!
When to make changes to your Will
There are several reasons to make changes to your Will, including:
New births in the family
This might be the birth or adoption of your child or step-child, or the birth or adoption of a grandchild or step-child.
Death(s) in the family
If your partner or spouse has passed, you will most likely need to make adjustments to your Will if they are reflected within the Will. This also remains true if one or more of the beneficiaries or your Executors in your Will passes away .
Changes to your relationship status
In the event that you marry or divorce, you will need to review and update your Will to reflect this. If you enter into or end a de facto relationship,, you may want to review your list of beneficiaries and how your estate is being distributed amongst them.
Changes to child(ren)’s relationship status
When one of your children marries, divorces or enters into a significant domestic relationship, it could be the time to make changes to your existing Will.
Acquisition or sale of asset(s)
Selling an asset which is listed within your Will means you’ll need to update your Will to reflect this. Similarly, purchasing an asset may require changes to your Will if you wish to gift or bequeath it to a specific person.
Changes to your employment
Time to hang up your hat? Making this life-changing move into your hard-earned retirement where you will be accessing super may mean you should update your Will.
Disputes with existing Will beneficiaries
Sometimes, it just boils down to not wanting to leave anything to a particular beneficiary due to some form of dispute. If this is the case, the only way you’re able to remove them from your Will is by updating it.
Can these changes be made without a solicitor?
The great news is that you don’t actually have to speak with a solicitor every single time you want to make a minor change to your Will.
You can make changes to your existing Will by amending an unsigned copy and printing an executing the updated Will or even simpler, by attached an amendment document, called a codicil.
This is a separate document which stipulates changes to particular provisions of your Will, but leaves the remainder of your Will completely unchanged. It must nclude the details of the testator, reference the Will it is amending and be signed by the testator with witnesses present, and is then attached to the original Will.
Codicils can be used to make changes where:
However, it is recommended that you don’t create and attach more than two or three codicils as this can become quite confusing and they can even perhaps contradict one another.
In the case where more than three changes are required, we strongly recommend creating a completely new Will as this will help avoid any confusion or potential issues.
Or purchasing Your Wills Premium Will option from $149.95 + GST, which gives you the abiity to edit your Will up to 3 times per year (within 12 months of purchasing an annual subscription).
Find out more about creating a new Will
If you’d like to learn more about creating a totally new Will or have a question for us about our innovative method of creating legally-recognised Wills online, speak with the team at Your Wills today.