Why it's important to review your Will every five years

Published 17 Oct 2017
Deane Aboud

It is important you review your Will every five (5) years in order to determine whether it still carries out your wishes. In five (5) years a lot can occur, it is important to take an hour or so out of your life every few years to speak to one of our lawyers at Maclarens where we can discuss your current circumstances and evaluate whether you need to update your Will.

Some examples of life events which may affect your current Will are:

1. Marriage

o When you get married your former Will automatically revokes itself. Therefore, it is essential that you create a new Will as your former Will no longer exists. Once you get married, it is important to provide for your spouse in your Will. If you do not provide for your spouse then they may be eligible to claim from your estate under Chapter 3 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW).

2. Divorce

o If you get a divorce then you Will revokes and automatically deletes your former spouse from:

„X Receiving any gifts that you have provided to him or her;

„X Being an Executor/Trustee of your Will and or; and

„X Any power given exercised by your former spouse

3. Have a baby

o Most people do not get around in updating their Will once they have a child or children. If you intend on having more children, it is important you update your Will so no child is left out. If a child is left out of your Will, then this may cause issues in the long term.

4. Enter into a de facto relationship

o It is important to make some provisions for your de facto spouse in your Will. Your de-facto spouse may be able to claim from your estate once you pass away if they have been excluded in your Will.

5. Have an executor or beneficiary who has passed away or lost capacity

o If an executor has passed away then it is crucial you renew your Will. Your beneficiaries may need to make a complicated application for Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed.

o If a beneficiary passes away then the gift of the beneficiary may lapse.

This may not be a huge problem like losing an executor, but you should still take into consideration whether your Will is still operative and whether you would like to make amendments to your Will.

6. Certain gifts you have given in your Will may no longer exist.

o It you have sold certain gifts such as a car, boat or house, then it is important to review and amend your Will as some people may miss out on receiving particular gifts which no longer exist.

7. Children are old enough and no longer need a guardian

o If children are old enough and no longer need a guardian, then you may want to start considering in appointment your children as Executors.

It is important you review you Will every few years to ensure the Will still reflects your wishes. For professional legal advice, regarding updating your Will, please contact Maclarens Lawyers on 9682 3777.