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Wills and Estates – Updating a will

A will contains important information for distributing a person’s estate according to their final wishes. The will can be established and altered with changing circumstances, allowing you to ensure loved ones are cared for during your life and in the event of your death. Circumstances can arise where a will hasn’t been updated and doesn’t adequately reflect the present financial situation of beneficiaries, making intervention by experienced Taylor & Scott Lawyers a good move.

How often should you update your will?

A will generally directs the distribution of assets to family and close associates. Reasons to have a will include:

  • To express your intention regarding distribution of the estate
  • To provide timely support for family members and other associates
  • To avoid unnecessary costs or delays in administration of the estate

Naturally, most wills need updating from time to time and should be reviewed every 3 to 5 years or when circumstances change. People of any age who have accumulated valuable assets should have a will in place in case anything were to happen. The will should also be updated periodically to ensure it is an accurate representation of your present holdings and desire for distribution of assets.

Can you alter your will?

Changing your will isn’t a difficult proposition, as the will is your personal document held in safekeeping. Sometimes it’s easiest to simply write a new will in place of the old one, or you can make an amendment that alters, changes, adds or subtracts from present provisions in the will. These amendments, called codicils, help to keep your will up to date with current circumstances.

A codicil amendment has to be made by the creator of the will, while meeting the same legal and administrative requirements as the original. It forms a separate document attached to the will and affirms the will’s validity. Sometimes wills are changed improperly, agreed upon under duress, or signed without full understanding, creating a legal minefield for potential beneficiaries. Taylor & Scott Estate Lawyers quickly get to the crux of the matter on your behalf to establish your options as a beneficiary, and the best pathway for achieving satisfactory outcomes.

Wills and estate success

What is a death benefit nomination?

In the event of death, a person’s superannuation or pension is distributed to beneficiaries. Taking the time to consider the distribution of your assets can save heartache in the long run for your spouse, children, interdependent persons and those who rely on you for support. A death benefit nomination ensures your wealth is transferred into the hands of your loved ones when you are no longer around.

Must a SMSF trustee comply with a DBN?

Self-managed super funds (SMAF) need to comply with death benefit nomination (DBN) regulations for smooth transference of wealth when a person dies. There is a lot to consider, and much can be overlooked by owner-operators and independent contractors while running a business, including the necessity of maintaining an up-to-date will.

The health and wellbeing of your family is important. Updating your will doesn’t mean it’s time for you to sign off, but it does put your entire family and support group on the same page now and into the future. A will can be complex to draft, so investing in the support of Taylor & Scott Estate Lawyers will save time and money. We understand complicated wills, reasons for dispute, resolution procedures and the best way to achieve successful outcomes for the benefit of you and your family.

At Taylor & Scott, ‘We Care For You’.