Once you have a Will in place, you should not just forget about it. There are issues and changes in your life that may occur that may affect your Will.
Do you know when to update your Tasmanian Will?
A Will determines how the will makers assets are dealt with when they die. Wills provide for the appointment of an executor(s) and the leaving of gifts to beneficiaries. A Will may also appoint guardians for children and give specific directions for funeral and burial arrangements.
When to review your Will
It is a common occurrence that one a Will has been made it is then put away and forgotten about. However, reviewing your Will is just as important as preparing it. This is particularly important when significant events occur in your life and your Will is either no longer valid or does not reflect your wishes.
The following events should prompt you to review your Will:
1. Marriage - A Will is revoked when the Will maker gets married. If you have married since preparing your Will then you should get a new Will.
2. Divorce - A Will also automatically revoked on the day you are formally divorced by order of the Court.
It is important to note that you can make a Will in contemplation of marriage or divorce. If you do not wish to make a Will in this way, a new Will must be made after you marry or divorce, otherwise you will die intestate (meaning without a valid Will in place).
3. Separation - A Will should always be reviewed on separation from your partner to take account of changed circumstances.
4. Children - The birth of a child should be a trigger to review your Will to ensure that your child any any future children are adequately provided for.
5. Death or ill health of an executor - Just like you, your executor/trustee will age and their circumstances may change. Your executor/trustee may have died, be mentally or physically unwell, or moved away. In these circumstances you might consider appointing a new executor.
6. Disposal of a specific gift - If you sell or dispose of such a specific asset that you have left to a beneficiary after you make your Will then that gift will fail. This means that the intended recipient of the gift may receive nothing at all or a much lesser share of the estate than what you originally intended.
7. Acquisition or disposal of interests in a company - Property owned by a company cannot be disposed of by Will, however shares in a company may be gifted under your Will. Accordingly, if you aquire or dispose of an interest in a company you should consider the impact on your will.
Significant changes in your circumstances are likely to impact upon your Will. It is important to regularly review your Will and as a general rule we suggest that it be looked at at least every 2 years. This does not necessarily mean that you have to change it, just get a copy out and review it to ensure that it still adequately covers your wishes.
If you don’t have a Tasmanian Will, or your current Will does not reflect your wishes, please contact us on 03 6332 9353 or you can use our contact form https://www.cormistonlegal.com.au/contact-us to make an appointment with one of our lawyers.