New Year Resolution
As we enter 2023 and wave goodbye to 2022, the start of a new year is a great time to review a Will as it is a time for new beginnings and getting organised.
It is important that your Will accurately reflects your wishes and current circumstances, so why not make it a New Year resolution to review and renew your Will?
January is a good month to review and renew your Will as many people are on leave, children are still on school holidays, and the demands of everyday life and work have not yet reached full throttle. This means you have more time to think about what might need to be included or changed in your Will and book an appointment with a lawyer.
If you renew your Will now, then you will not have it hanging over your head for the rest of the year, as something you want to get done, but unfortunately keeps slipping down the ‘to-do-list’.
Start off 2023 with your legal affairs in order
Many people forget to make a Will, or if they have one, forget to update it when their circumstances change. It is not something we like to think about, but having an up-to-date Will is very important especially when you have loved ones that you would like to be taken care of after you pass away.
If we think about the last few years, it highlights how unpredictable life can be and being prepared for the unexpected is essential in giving you and your family peace of mind. If you have a proper Will in place that reflects your current wishes, it will not only ensure your wishes are honoured after your death, but it will give your loved ones left behind with invaluable guidance and remove a lot of the stress associated with the death of a family member.
Change in your circumstances
You can write a Will at any point in your adult life, and it is recommended you review your Will regularly (at least every 3 to 5 years), or whenever your circumstances change. Many things may have changed for you in the past year which may require you to update your Will as soon as possible, such as:
- recently married or separated;
- bought a new house or holiday home;
- inherited money from a deceased relative;
- welcomed a new addition to the family such as the birth of a child, grandchild or adoption;
- relocated to a new state in Australia or moved to Australia from overseas;
- enter into a relationship with a new partner or entered a de facto relationship;
- sold a company or started a new business;
- changed your mind about how you wish your estate to be distributed;
- the person(s) named as your executor and/or beneficiary in the Will are no longer alive or you have had a falling-out and no longer want them to be named in your Will; and/or
- sold or disposed of an item (such as a house) that was specifically gifted to someone in your Will, but no longer exists.
Updating your Will
If you decide to update your Will, it is essential that it is done correctly to ensure the changes are valid and binding. Lawyers specialising in Wills and Estate Planning will be able to assist you in updating your Will so that it clearly reflects all your wishes and help make sure the Will covers everything to minimise the risk of your Will being contested.
At Lynn & Brown Lawyers, we will assist you to prepare a Will, sign the Will and store the Will in a secure and safe fire-proof storage facility.
We handle hundreds of Wills and estate matters every year and have a team of lawyers to give you advice and help you draft your new Will.
About the Author: Hannah is a graduate of both the University of Western Australia and Notre Dame University, having completed a Bachelor of Arts (major in ‘Law and Society’’ and minors in History and Psychology) in 2016 and a Bachelor of Laws in 2018.