Having a Will is one thing but having a Will that is up-to-date, is a different matter entirely….
As most people are aware good estate planning ensures that your assets go to the people you would like to provide for after your passing. Despite the obvious importance of having a valid will in place, there appears to be an overall feeling of reluctance amongst the general population to make a Will, and even further reluctance to update and review said Will.

The fact is, that that our busy lives are subject to constant change, potentially rendering a previously drawn up Will obsolete or in some circumstances it may be revoked or invalidated

Events that might Revoke or Invalidate your Will

The following events may have the effect of re-writing or revoking all or part of your Will:

  • marrying or entering into a registered relationship after signing your Will; or
  • divorcing a spouse that you were married to at the time of signing your Will.

These can also revoke your Enduring Power of Attorney.

In some circumstances you can make a valid Will and Enduring Power of Attorney in contemplation of marriage or divorce, which will not need to be re-written when the later event occurs.

Some other events that may impact your estate planning

  • your financial circumstances change;
  • your family circumstances change, for example, if you marry, start a new relationship, divorce, separate, or have children or grandchildren;
  • a beneficiary under your current Will dies;
  • an executor or trustee appointed under your current Will dies or becomes unsuitable to act due to age or ill-health;
  • you sell or give away assets that are specifically mentioned in your Will;
  • you buy or inherit significant assets;
  • you begin to hold assets that your Will cannot deal with, such as in superannuation or a trust; or
  • the entities or structures you hold assets in change.

If you need to make, update or review your Will it is important to do so with the correct legal advice. In some cases even small changes made to a will can have an undesired effect and result in your final wishes not being carried out as you had planned.

Please visit our Estate and Succession planning page to see more important points on this topic area, and don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any queries.

Bruce Havilah

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