As those of you who read this regularly know my intention is to increase the number of people that have Wills – some people tell me that I’m crazy! It certainly helps. The reality is that it is about changing people’s perception of a Will
As I have posted before – and in the not too distant past a Will is a planning document. So when should you make and update a Will?
I know most people would prefer to do most tasks around the house prior to making a Will but unless you do it you cannot control what happens to your assets and the future of your loved ones.
I have created a list below of things to think about when you start making your will:
- Have you been divorced or ended a personal relationship? In some jurisdictions except where (a) a contrary intention appears in the will, or (b) there is other evidence establishing such an intention, subsequent divorce will revoke a will.
- Have you married or started a new relationship? Have any of your beneficiaries? Unless a Will is made specifically in contemplation of an impending marriage an existing Will is automatically revoked by marriage.
- Have you or your beneficiaries had a new baby?
- Have you bought or sold a major asset (an investment property)?
- Have you started a SMSF (self-managed superannuation fund)?
- Have you transferred a major asset owned by you to a self-managed superannuation fund?
- Have you gifted a major asset or made a significant loan, to a family member?
- If you own a business has a partner retired, or a new partner been admitted?
- Have you or your beneficiaries had a business failure?
- Have you or any of your beneficiaries developed a health problem including an addiction?
Along with your Will, do you need to make an Enduring Power of Attorney, Advanced Care Directive, or contact your Superannuation trustee in order to completer the binding Death Benefit Nomination.
If you have a complex family arrangement or have created a SMSF it would be wise to contact a lawyer to ensure that all documents are drafted correctly.
Most importantly make sure you have a Will. As an intestate estate is not directed the way that you want it to and can compound an already difficult time for your loved ones.