It is most important that your Will be complete and correctly reflect your wishes.
Your Will should be reviewed every 2-3 years or whenever there are major changes in your circumstances. Changes include getting married or divorced, having children, or buying a property. Changes in taxation laws may also make your Will revision necessary.
There are also changes in circumstances that can automatically revoke a Will or make instructions in a Will ineffective. Tasmanian Perpetual Trustees’ Estate Planning process anticipates your changing circumstances and helps avoid many of these problems.
Things to consider when revising a Will
The following considerations should be made when revising a Will:
- marriage usually revokes your Will unless it is expressly made in contemplation of that marriage;
- divorce usually revokes your Will unless it is expressly made in contemplation of that divorce;
- if a significant relationship (also known as a defacto relationship) is started or ended, your Will may need to be changed because the Relationships Act 2003 considers most significant relationships to be the same as marriages when considering Wills;
- if someone named in your Will changes his or her name and the Will is not revised, there can be delays in completing the administration;
- if a beneficiary dies, you may want that share to be divided among the beneficiaries’ children or given to the beneficiaries’ spouse;
- if specifically described property (eg. 10 Jones Street, Petersville) is left to a beneficiary and that house is later sold, the beneficiary may receive nothing
Your Will may also need updating if significant changes occur in the nature of your Estate. For example:
- If you inherit a hotel or a farm is purchased, or assets are transferred to a trust or partnership. Even if the beneficiaries do not need to change, the Executor may need different powers to deal with assets in the best possible way;
- if inflation erodes the real value of a gift of a specific sum of money;
- if the extent of a property in a bequest changes. For example, if all the shares or money in a particular account have been left to a particular person and shares are bought or sold or money is deposited or withdrawn, the beneficiary may get less or more benefit than intended unless the Will is changed;
- if the nature of the property in a specific bequest changes. For example, the type or name of bank account, share type, or holding (eg. company takeover);
For further information about revising your Will, Contact our expert Estate Planners or make an appointment today.
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