5 Reasons to Review your Will this Year


5 Reasons to Review your Will this Year

A will is an important document that outlines how you would like your personal estate to be distributed. A will not only communicates your final wishes but allows you to provide for your family and loved ones in the event of your death.

When you create a will, it is not a matter of ‘set-and-forget’. This is because your family, financial and personal situation are likely to change, and these circumstances can have a significant impact upon your will.

Ideally, you should update your will every 3-5 years to reflect your current situation, but if you’ve already missed the 5-year mark, don’t put it off any longer. We’ve outlined 5 reasons why you should review your will this year.

Marriage and Relationships

Many people do not realise that when a testator (the will maker) marries, their previous will is no longer valid. If you’ve recently married and haven’t updated your will, it is essential that you do so if you would like your final wishes to be upheld. If a will is invalid, then your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy.

Similarly, any change in your relationships, whether it is divorce or entering into a new relationship, is reason to update your will and ensure those you care about are adequately provided for.

Children and Dependants

Providing for children and other dependants is a primary goal for most testators. Updating your will upon the birth of a child is highly recommended so they are included in your will and you can name an appropriate guardian.

When you review your will, you should ensure the original guardian is still the most appropriate person to take care of your children if something should happen to you. Often grandparents are named as guardians and if a will is not updated regularly there is a risk that those grandparents may have since passed away or become sick and no longer capable of looking after a child/children.
One must also look at this time to see if the Executor or Trustee or backups appointed in holding the estate on trust for a minor is also right person

In an age where families come in all shapes and sizes, it is important to update your will to reflect your current family situation. Blended families can include children from previous marriages or adopted children and updating a will to provide for all your dependents, not just biological children is a good idea.

Another reason to update your will occurs when your children reach the age of majority (18 years in New South Wales). When your children reach this age, you may like to review how your estate is distributed or name them as executors of your estate.

Changing Assets

Changing assets, such as selling/buying property or starting a business and selling a business, can significantly change the value of your estate. These changes call for a review of your will so that it accurately reflects your current financial situation and structures.

Tax Law

It may seem odd to update your will on account of tax laws, but these laws can impact upon the distribution of your estate. Tax laws are always changing, and a regular review of your will can ensure your estate is distributed in a certain way to minimise any tax and maximise provision for your beneficiaries.


In Australia, each state has its own legislation regarding wills and the distribution of a deceased estate. If you have moved interstate you should review your will so that it is in line with the rules and procedures of the jurisdiction you live. In the same way, laws surrounding wills and succession will be different if you are living overseas, so you should update your will to reflect this.

How can you update your will?

Updating and reviewing your will isn’t hard, but you will need to ensure it is updated correctly so that your final wishes are carried out. At Taylor & Scott Lawyers our experienced Estate Lawyers can update and review your will to reflect your current situation. With the assistance of a professional, you can help protect your will from conjecture and ensure your intentions are understood.

Arrange a meeting

Arrange a meeting with a Taylor & Scott Estate Lawyer today and we can help you review and update your will as soon as possible.

It is helpful to gather and consider the following information and questions before you review or create a will:

  • Birth or adoption of children and grandchildren
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Death of someone named in your will
  • What is your current living situation?
  • Who are you in a relationship with?
  • Have any of your children reached the age of majority?
  • Who would you like to appoint as executor or executors?
  • Is your current executor still capable/relevant?
  • Who would you like to appoint as guardian?
  • Is your current guardian still capable/relevant?
  • People or charitable organisations that you would like to benefit from your estate
  • A list of current assets and liabilities
  • Any business interests
  • Details of your superannuation
  • Insurance policies

For legal advice, you can count on, contact us on 1800 600 664 or email us at info@tayscott.com.au

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