Why and when should you update your Will and Estate Plan?

Why and when should you update your Will and Estate Plan?

Why and When should you update your will?

Signing your Will is not a “one and done” event. It requires regular review and updating as your circumstances change.
Key events that should trigger a review may include:

  • If you get married, enter into a defacto relationship or divorce
  • If your assets change, for example, by an inheritance received or property or assets purchased or disposed of
  • When there is the birth of a child or when children named in your will attaining the age of majority
  • If there are changes to your wider family that may impact on the gifts in your will
  • If key people named in your Will die or are unable to act for you.

There may be many other situations that would warrant a review of your will. My general advice to my clients is to have a look at your will at least once each year, say at Christmas time, to check that you are still happy with all the terms.

When you review your Will, you should also take a look at your wider estate plan. An effective estate plan means that all of your assets pass to your intended beneficiaries, including those which cannot or will not be transferred under your Will. You need to consider for example, assets held in a superannuation fund, a family trust or a company. It may be necessary to complete other documents such as trust deeds and binding death nomination to ensure that your assets are appropriately dealt with and that every part of your estate plan works together. In some circumstances, what may seem like a minor change to a Will can actually revoke or invalidate other documents that are in place. Therefore, it is important that you seek appropriate advice.

In addition to reviewing your Will, consideration should also be given to Powers of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardians. Both documents are an important part of an effective estate plan, and are not reserved for the old or infirm. Properly drafted Powers of Attorneys and Appointment of Enduring Guardians can ensure that corporate responsibilities continue should you be unable to do them yourself, minor children are cared for financially, utilities and liabilities are paid and your health and welfare is prioritized.

This is an important part of all forms of family life, and should not be ignored. If you would like advice on how to create or update your estate plan, please do not hesitate to contact us on 8525 2700 or click here to request an appointment with one of our Will and Estates Planning Team.

Article by Rebecca Exley
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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