One of the most common questions people ask about estate planning is when they should review their Will. It’s important to review your Will on a regular basis, to make sure it still reflects your wishes. It is more than likely your wishes will change as you grow older, and, as a result, you’ll need to make revisions to your will at different stages of your life.
Revising your Will can be tricky so it’s a good idea to have a lawyer on hand to ensure that the wording of this all important document is clear and accurate. This means that there’ll be a much smaller chance that someone can dispute a will you’ve written.
There are a number of instances where you should consider revising your Will.
• Changing your name, or anybody named in your Will changes theirs;
• If an Executor dies or becomes unwilling to act as Executor or becomes unsuitable due to age, ill health, long term absence from Australia or any other reason;
• If a beneficiary (a person designated as the recipient of funds or other property under a will) dies;
• Getting married, or entering into a long term de facto relationship;
• Divorce or separation.
If you have included grown children in your will, you should also take into consideration any changes that occur in their lives. You may want to revise your will if they get married or have children of their own.
You may also decide that granting your loved ones a lump sum of money is no longer the best option, and a trust fund that can support them over a longer period of time might work better or vice versa.
In any event, remember that your Will should not be static. You should consider and, if necessary, amend it approximately every 5 years or so.