When should you review or revise your will?

Date: Oct 03, 2013

According to the New South Wales Trustee & Guardian: Attorney General & Justice, one of the most common questions people ask about estate planning is when they should review their wills.

It's important that you review your will on a regular basis, to make sure it still reflects your wishes. These are likely to change as you grow older, so it's probable that you'll need to make revisions to your will at different stages in your life.

If you decide to revise your will, it's a good idea to have a lawyer on hand to not only give you advice, but also make sure the wording of this all-important document is clear and accurate.

This means there'll be a much smaller chance that someone can dispute a will you've written.

There could be a number of stages in your life when you may want to consider reviewing and revising your will. For instance, when you get married, separated, divorced or your spouse dies.

If you have included your grown children in your will, you should also take into consideration any changes that occur in their lives. If they get married or have children of their own, you may want to revise your will to reflect these new additions to your family.

The New South Wales Trustee & Guardian: Attorney General & Justice also suggests that you revise your will if the executor named in it becomes unable to perform that task - this could be due to an illness, death or other reason.

It can also be a good idea to review your will so that it reflects "today's dollars", the organisation explains.

If your will is decades old, the money or assets you decided to leave to friends, family or charitable institutions may not amount to as much in the present day.

You may also decide that granting your loved ones a lump sum of money is no longer the best option, and a trust fund that can support them over a longer period of time might work better - or vice versa.

And, even if there are no dramatic changes occurring in your life, you should probably be reviewing and, if necessary, revising your will every three to five years or so.

Craddock Murray Neumann can provide you with advice and help you create, review and revise a will.