Cairns Wills & Estate Lawyers | Will Disputes and Estate Lawyers

Do You Need to Update Your Will?

will disputes | Preston Law

We wish we could all live forever and enjoy the work of our hands and the fruit of our labour forever, however, this is impossible. This is why having a Will in place is so important.

However, a Will should change as your circumstance do. This would mean that every once in a while, your Will has to be revised and updated in accordance with the events in your life. This is to ensure that the contents of the will perfectly represent how you want your estate to be shared. Some factors which would influence at what point your will should be updated includes:

1. THE BIRTH OF A CHILD

The birth of a child is normally considered to be a joyous moment across the world and as such might require some changes to your Will. This is especially true in cases where you have decided to divide your properties and investments equally among your children. Therefore, to make sure that child benefits from that Will, it is best to revise the Will to include the newborn child.

However, if your Will has already been drafted in such a way that it includes unborn children which will be conceived in the future, there might be no reason to update your will. However, cross-checking to see if everything has been spelled out correctly wouldn’t hurt. This could help prevent future confusion as to how your estate should be divided.

2. MORE MONEY

Sometimes, your life can take a dramatic turn for the good and you could suddenly become rich beyond your wildest dreams. In this situation, it would be a wise move to revise the content of the Will. Perhaps you would now like to share your new found estate to persons whom you feel have the right to benefit from it or there are now trusts set up to preserve your newfound wealth.

3. DEATH OF A SPOUSE

If the unthinkable happens and your spouse passes away you might need to update your will. It is likely that you had decided to give the majority of your estate to your spouse and now that they are dead, your Will may either become invalid or other beneficiaries will receive the entirety of your estate regardless of what you really want.  

In such a situation, it will be necessary to update your Will to include new plans of how you intend your estate to be shared.

4. CHANGING LOCATION

The law is dynamic and changes according to jurisdiction. Therefore, moving to another country or state/region may introduce certain new rules on tax and the formation of a will. It may be proper to have a meeting with a lawyer to review the contents of the Will and make any necessary changes which may be required by law in the new state or country you now reside.

5. DIVORCE

Sometimes, a seemingly happy marriage may come to an abrupt end. Sometimes, the two parties may have to get a divorce over irreconcilable differences. This is usually a tiring process, but after the divorce is done, subsequent consideration should be given as to whether you should update or draft a new will.

This is more important in cases where certain parts of your estate are meant to be transferred to your ex-wife or husband. It might be wise to considering meeting with your legal adviser to seek advice on how to go about creating a new will

6. YOU WANT TO GIVE MORE TO CHARITY

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to provide funding to the different charitable organisations. A person could get affiliated with a charitable organization after he has had his Will drafted. Subsequent feelings of commitment to the cause of the organisation may leave him feeling he needs to do more for the organization.

He may, therefore, need to revise his Will to allow some parts of his estate go to the charitable organization. If he fails to revise it, the charitable organization will not stand to benefit from his estate.

7. CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE

A will can be drafted or constructed at any point in time. This can mean that people draft Wills when they are in their twenties. Life is filled with many twists and turns. Therefore, with changes that might have occurred years after the will is drafted, there might be a need to revise your will.

An example of a situation where a will might need to be updated is changing your mind in respect of which of your siblings you intend to give your house. It might also change with factors such as marriage and children. An example could be a change in mind concerning how you want your estate to be distributed. Perhaps you no longer want your spouse to take eighty percent. Maybe you now feel some other relative has a right to more benefits.

It would be recommended that if you have had a change of mind concerning how you want your estate to be shared even to the slightest change, you should have your Will updated. This will benefit your heirs in the long run.

Having a Will can save your family members a lot of stress and money in deciding how to share your estate in the event of an unfortunate incident. It is only proper that you consider all the ways to make your Will to reflect your decisions perfectly.

A will that is reviewed and, if necessary, updated regularly will ensure your wishes are clear when the time comes for your estate to be distributed. 

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