When last did you update your Will?
A Last Will and Testament is the subject of much procrastination which often gets signed, placed somewhere for safekeeping and then forgotten about. Please don’t make this mistake. In a recent webinar, I attended for business owners, 28% had no will at all, a further 40% had never reviewed their will and less than 10% had reviewed their will in the last 12 months.
Although your Will deals with the distribution of your assets once you have passed away, it should be a living document which is reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that your loved ones are properly taken care of and takes account of your current circumstances.
If any of the following has occurred, we recommend that you update your Will:
- Change in marital status (divorced/separated/married)
- Birth or death of a dependant
- You want to appoint a guardian for your minor children or set up a testamentary trust to ensure they are protected and cared for
- Your dependants have reached the age of majority
- Any of your dependants require extra protection and care should they have become disabled or mentally incapacitated
- Substantial increase or decrease in your assets
- Any of the beneficiaries named in your Will have deceased
- Changes in tax legislation
- If it has been 2 years or more since you last reviewed your Will
- Your current Will was drafted and/or is being kept by a financial institution or is based on a template downloaded from the internet
- You don’t have a will
We always recommend seeking professional advice when drawing up a Will because, besides the formalities of a valid Will, there are a lot of other factors which you need to keep in mind when planning your estate or drawing up your Will.
Most importantly you want to make sure that your executor understands your personal and financial circumstances.
You do not want your beneficiaries to be in the position of a widow we recently heard about, whose husband had drafted a will leaving his entire estate to his wife – the only problem was that the widow was his second wife and he felt that he did not need to redraft the will when he got remarried, so the will in fact erroneously left his estate to his first wife, whom he had divorced many years previously! ACT NOW!
Please contact us should you require assistance in drafting or updating your Will.