Life changes that wills should account for

Date: Oct 24, 2012

Estate planning is an important part of life and when you take the step of drawing up a will, you're ensuring your family is looked after. However, it's important to update your will if your circumstances change like a windfall or a change in relationships which mean both your assets and who they should be left to, need to be accounted for.

Should your will have been drawn up when you and your partner just had your first baby then you made the smart decision of ensuring their future is provided for. But should your brood multiply, you have to make provisions to ensure that all your children are cared for if something were to happen.

Another thing to think about is the state of your partnership with your spouse. Should you and your significant other part ways for whatever reason, your will should be updated accordingly. Your will should always reflect your current relationship status. Typically a relationship like a marriage would leave the estate to your partner but if you and your spouse no longer are together, your will should show your intentions, whether it be to leave your estate to just your children or divide it up between them and your new partner, if you have one.

Any property that you own should also go into your will. Many people own more property than just the family home; if it is a co-ownership then the property simply passes on to your partner.

But if you are the last surviving owner, be sure to write down where you want your property to go. You may have a few investment properties or possibly a holiday home, and ownership of all those properties has to be assigned to someone.

Should you inherit anything during your own lifetime, then you'll have to factor that into your own will. Property, jewellery and ownership of businesses are all things that you may come into possession of and should be accounted for in your own estate.

If you're an animal lover, you'll no doubt want to have a plan for your favourite furry friend too. Whether it's a dog, cat or bird, be sure that you leave a directive for your pet so that they're cared for when you no longer are around to do so.