When to review or update a Will

Many clients complete a Will and then fail to revisit it for years, and it is concerning that some never do. However, an estate plan is not static; it cannot be set and then forgotten about. It is not difficult, or necessarily expensive to change a Will – it can be amended, modified, updated or even revoked at any time which we will see in the scenarios below.

For example, Mary and John had their Wills prepared 5 years ago. Both bequeathed various assets amongst their 3 adult children. During the last 5 years or so Mary and John’s youngest daughter Lucy relocated from Australia to Canada to pursue her ice skating career.

John and Mary have since decided that as it is highly likely that Lucy will permanently reside in Canada to update their Wills to cover this minor change in address so that their Wills both show Lucy’s current residential address.

As John and Mary only want to make this minor change to their Wills and no additional estate planning advice or changes to their existing estate planning strategies are required a Will update service would suffice. At Townsends Business and Corporate Lawyers, we can assist you with a Will update service if you want to update your estate planning documents to cover minor aspects of your Will such as updating addresses, assets and bequests by amending your Will or making a codicil in accordance with your instructions.

Ten years later, John and Mary are contemplating varying their current Wills in order to make bequests to their five grandchildren. John and Mary are not sure if they will need to update their Wills again or if a Will review service is more appropriate.

As John and Mary last looked at their Wills ten years ago and given that significant amendments will need to be made to John and Mary’s Wills to take into account the bequests to their five grandchildren it may be a good idea for John and Mary to have their Wills and other estate planning documents completely reviewed.

Estate planning strategies and Wills should be reviewed every 2-3 years or whenever there is a major change to succession or tax laws or if major events occur in the life of the willmaker such as marriage, divorce, property purchase or sale, death in the family or material inheritance.

At Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers we can assist by reviewing your existing estate planning documentation to see if the documents adequately meet your current estate planning requirements.

For further information regarding our Will Update Service and Will Review Service, please contact TownsendsBusiness & Corporate Lawyers on (02) 8296 6222 or email info@townsendslaw.com.au to see how we can assist.