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Updating Your Will – Have Your Circumstances Changed?

It’s the new year, how was last year? Have your circumstances changed? If you answered yes, then it’s time you thought about updating your Will!

There are many reasons that the chore of updating your Will needs to be moved to the top of your to do list. It is even more important if your life has changed in the past year. Perhaps you have married or divorced, acquired or disposed of property or welcomed a new member into your family.

Marriage and Your Will

Under the New South Wales Succession Act a Will is revoked on marriage. This means that your previous Will, will no longer be valid after the date of your marriage. If you fail to make a new Will and something happens to you then your assets will be dealt with by the rules of intestacy, which will determine who receives your assets and property after your death. This may not be the people you wished to receive your assets so it is extremely important to update your Will after your marriage.

Divorce or Annulment of Marriage and your Will

If you have recently divorced or annulled your marriage then this will also have an impact on your current Will. Depending on what is in your current Will, any dispositions left to your former spouse will be affected. If your current Will leaves all your assets to your former spouse then the distribution of your Estate will be governed by the rules of intestacy.

Also, if you have appointed your former spouse as an executor of your Will then this appointment will be revoked. If your former spouse was the sole executor appointed in your Will, which is often the case, then your Estate will be left without a valid Executor.

Other changes that should be reflected in your Will

The majority of Will’s deal with the distribution of your assets in some detail. If you have sold or purchased new property, accumulated or disposed of funds or other significant changes to your assets you need to make sure these changes are reflected in your Will.

If you have a new family member you may also want to review how they would be taken care of if anything happened to you by setting up a Trust and appointing a Trustee to take care of them financially until they come of age.

It is also important to review who you have appointed as executors in your Will to make sure they are still able and willing to act as your executors.

As you can see updating your Will is extremely important. Make sure it is on the top of your list, particularly if your circumstances have changed.

Graeme Heckenberg is an expert Wills & Estates lawyer and will be able to guide and advise you on all your Will questions and queries. If you are living on the Northern Beaches and surrounding Peninsula and need expert advice on your Will, call The Northern Beaches Lawyer today for an appointment close to home on 9221 2779

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