How Often Should You Update Your Will in Qld?

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If you have a Will in place, that’s fantastic!  It’s one of the most important things you can do to protect your family and ensure your wishes are carried out. But, your Will isn’t a “set it and forget it” document. Life changes, and so should your Will.

Wondering how often you should be giving your Will a checkup? Well, there’s no single answer that fits everyone. However, there are key circumstances when it’s absolutely vital to review and possibly update your Will. This article will discuss those circumstances in detail.

How often should I review my Will even if nothing major changes?

Even if your life feels stable right now, it’s wise to revisit your Will every three to five years. Here’s why:

  • Your perspective may shift: Even without major life events, your views on your possessions, family, and priorities can change over time. A quick review ensures your Will reflects your current wishes.
  • Laws can change: Estate law can change. Updates to legislation can potentially impact how your Will is interpreted. Regular check-ins help keep your Will up-to-date and legally sound.
  • Forgotten details: It’s easy to forget the specifics of your Will. A review can refresh your memory and help you spot anything you want to adjust.

Think of it like a routine check-up for your estate plan. A short chat with your estate lawyer every few years can give you the peace of mind that your wishes will be honoured, no matter what the future holds.

Also read: Codicil to a Will: Simplifying the Complexities

Key circumstances that warrant a Will review

  1. Marriage or Divorce: Changes in your marital status significantly impact how your estate might be distributed. It’s crucial to review your Will after marriage or divorce, updating it to reflect the addition or removal of a spouse and adjusting any bequests as necessary.
  2. New Children or Grandchildren: With each addition to your family, it’s vital to update your Will. This ensures new family members are included in your inheritance plans and appoints suitable guardians in case the unthinkable happens.
  3. Big Changes in Your Assets: Major acquisitions or losses, such as purchasing property, receiving an inheritance, or starting a business, warrant a Will review. You’ll want to ensure your estate plan accurately reflects your current financial situation.
  4. Changes in Relationships: Should your relationships with beneficiaries named in your Will change considerably, it’s wise to update your Will to align with your present wishes.
  5. Executors or Guardians Get Older: Ensure the executors and guardians named in your Will are still capable of and willing to perform their designated duties. If their ability changes due to age or other factors, make the necessary revisions.

Also read: What Happens When Someone Dies Without a Will in Queensland

Balancing a New Marriage and Children from a Previous Relationship

A 52-year-old client recently walked into our Walker Pender offices with a familiar, yet complex, scenario. Having found love again, he was engaged to his second wife and they had recently welcomed a newborn son. He was eager to update his Will to reflect his new family dynamic.

His main concern was ensuring his children from his first marriage were still included in his Will, while also providing for his new wife and baby. There were additional matters he wanted to discuss, particularly those most important to him and his new family.

At Walker Pender, we understand these situations are nuanced. We guided our client through the process, ensuring his existing children remained beneficiaries while carefully including provisions for his new wife and son. We helped him structure his Will thoughtfully, balancing everyone’s needs and minimising the potential for future disputes.

Is Your Will Ready for Life’s Changes?

Life is unpredictable; marriage, new children, changing relationships… it all happens. Don’t let an outdated Will leave your loved ones with uncertainty. Walker Pender’s estate planning experts will craft a Will that evolves with you, providing the peace of mind that comes from knowing your wishes will be respected.

Contact us today for a personalised consultation and ensure your estate plans are ready for whatever life brings.

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