Many people believe that creating a Will is a one-time event. However, with unexpected change just one blind bend away, your Will is a document which should come to reflect those changes.
In this article, we'll explore 5 key reasons why you might need to update your Will. Ensuring that your assets are protected, your wishes carried out and your loved ones taken care of even after you're gone.
A Will is a reflection of your life wishes, and who you want to support after you die. Life events; such as marriage, divorce, birth of children, property purchase or changes in your relationships, can all change these choices.
Updating your Will is the best way to ensure your wishes are kept up to date- meaning that with several significant life changes, there arises a need to update, amend and sometimes even rewrite your Will for good.
We get it. Life gets busy, finances tight and the last thing you want to do is navigate the end of life admin.
Despite this, failing to update your Will can have significant consequences if this document fails to reflect what’s currently important to you.
These can range from disputes and unintended beneficiaries at best, and invalidity at worst, in certain states. Leaving your Will stagnant can risk pose a significant financial and legal headache for the loved ones you leave behind, and the risk that your estate will be distributed contrary to your current wishes.
Updating your Will doesn't have to be a daunting task. With an online platform and legal support offered through Safewill, this has never been further from the truth.
In general however, it’s important to review your existing Will every few years, seek legal advice and make updates in line with any significant life changes.
A legal professional will be able to determine if a simple codicil (making a change to your Will) will do, or if you need to create an entirely new document. Either way, these changes will require signing the document in the presence of two witnesses.
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that updating your Will is a worthy endeavour. Having gone to the hassle of creating one, it’s worth finishing what you started to ensure it gets the job done (properly) when the time comes.
So why might you need to update your Will?
1. Change in Marital Status: Marriage, divorce, or entering into a new domestic partnership can significantly impact your estate planning and next of kin. With this in mind, it’s crucial to update your Will so that it reflects your new marital status- ensuring that your spouse or partner is appropriately provided for or excluded, depending on your circumstances.
2. Birth or Adoption of Children: The arrival of children is a joyous event. And whilst you don’t want to get distracted from the excitement of this moment, updating your Will becomes an essential part of being a supportive new parent. Things like appointing guardians, establishing trusts, and allocating assets for your children’s care and well-being, are all things to consider when updating your Will at this time.
3. Change in Financial Situation: If you experience a significant increase or decrease in your assets, such as buying a new property, receiving an inheritance, or starting a business, it is crucial to update your Will to ensure your estate is distributed as per your current financial situation. This can avoid complications, and ease the probate process for loved ones left behind.
4. Relocation or Change in Laws: Moving to a different state or country may require updating your Will, as well as specific legal advice to your situation and new jurisdiction. This being said, in general we recommend everyone adds a Will review to their to-do list before the big move.
5. Change in Personal Representatives or Beneficiaries: Relationships evolve, people's circumstances change and who you want listed as a beneficiary might not be the same as when you wrote your Will. Whether it's due to the passing or falling out with a loved one, it’s important to update your Will if there is outdated people listed as beneficiaries or personal representatives.
Updating your Will is a crucial step in ensuring that your final wishes are respected and your loved ones are provided for. So, with changes in marital, parental, financial or relationship status, it’s important to reflect these in your legal document.
Safewill makes it easier than ever to make updates to your existing Will. We even include free updates for a year after writing your document, and offer an affordable subscription option thereafter.
It’s easy, it’s affordable and the benefits last (longer than) a lifetime. So what are you waiting for?
Get started today with the help of one of our legal specialists on 1800 10 33 10, or via live chat now.