Life changes and wills

Date: Jan 15, 2013

Did you know that your will actually becomes invalid once you marry? Only in special circumstances does its validity continue after you marry.

It's important to think of what changes in life may affect your will. As life changes so may your wishes for your estate including who you wish to be your beneficiaries.

Births and deaths are things that may alter who you want as the beneficiaries of your estate and thus your will may need to be updated by an experienced wills and estates lawyer.

An adult should always think about proper estate planning from the time they turn 18, but should you finally decide to draw up a will when you are in your late 20s and not married - the intended beneficiaries could differ greatly if you were to tie the knot and have children a few short years later.

You may anticipate that you will have children down the line, but parenthood can be a surprise and it's possible your brood will be bigger than what you had planned.

It's important to either expect what will happen eventually or update your will when these changes take place, an experienced lawyer can assist.

Life changes when there is a death in the family and it is also a time to review your will to ensure it reflects your wishes in regards to who you want as a beneficiary or who you would like as your power of attorney for issues like medical decisions.

Divorce is also a major life change and if you do not update your will upon divorce or separation your former partner could inherit some of your estate. This could subsequently lead to an estate dispute between your ex-spouse and your intended beneficiaries. It is possible for a will to stipulate that a spouse does not continue to be a beneficiary following a divorce, but this should never be assumed. A wills and estates lawyer will be able to advise you on this.

Other life changes affecting your wealth and assets will affect the value of your estate. Accumulation of real estate and other property needs to be accounted for in estate planning. Similarly salary increases and investment returns need to be considered when drafting your will.

To talk to an experienced wills and estates lawyer about life changes affecting your estate planning call Dominic Wilson on 8268 4000.