How often should I update my Will?

Hey legend! You’ve sorted your Will! Well done. Your estate plan journey isn’t quite over yet though…there’s one important step to go.

The next phase is keeping your Will current to your wishes and circumstances. This doesn’t require much time + effort, but it *is* something you need to think about each year.

It’s not really a big commitment in the scheme of things. You trade a little bit of time to check in with yourself and your Will, and gain peace of mind for you and protection for your family.

Think of it this way – you know you’ll brush your teeth every day for the rest of your life, but does that feel like a big commitment? Or is it just a normal thing you know you need to do?

You see where we’re going with this…[yep, keeping your Will current is just a normal thing you need to do, like brushing your teeth].

Review vs update

First off, there’s a difference between reviewing your Will and updating it.

Reviewing your Will just means reading over it and making sure you’re still happy with it. Things you need to check include who you’ve appointed to power positions [like your executor and any trustees or testamentary guardians], the gifts you’ve made, and any other terms or directions.

Another bonus of reviewing your Will is that you know where your Will is, it’s still intact, and there’s no storage issues.

So, how often should you review your Will? Pick a date [any date!] and make that “the day” you review your Will EACH year. Mark the date in your calendar and set an alert/reminder [let technology be your friend here and use the calendar on your phone or linked to your email account].

When to update?

Reviewing is simply reading over your Will. Updating your Will is making a change [or changes] to your Will. For example, updating a gift or changing a nomination to a key position [like your executor].

If your wishes or circumstances have changed, or if there’s been a change in circumstances of your loved ones or anyone mentioned in your Will, it may be time to update your Will.

For example, if…

  • you’re in a new relationship or have married
  • you’ve divorced or separated
  • you’ve entered a high risk career
  • there’s been a change in the structure or ownership of your assets
  • a loved one has a new spouse
  • a loved one has passed away
  • a loved one has moved overseas

This isn’t an exhaustive list. Each person and their estate plan needs are unique – which means what changes require a Will update is also unique to each person [and their asset structure, loved one network, and goals for their estate plan…].

We give each of our clients a ‘Will Review Checklist’ that makes the Will review process quick and simple. Less time on life admin, more time out enjoying life!

If you think it’s time to update your Will or want to talk to us about what that looks like, please contact us.

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