Having written here about the importance of having a will and provided you tips for appointing your executor here – hopefully these will have spurred you on to get a new will or at least consider whether your current will meets your needs.
Having prepared a new will, it is important to consider and review your will regularly, at least annually, or whenever particular events occur.
How often should you review your Will?
We recommend that you review any documents held in safe custody, in particular your wills and enduring powers of attorney regularly and consult with us if you wish to change them. You should especially do this if any of the following events occur:
1. You change your name or anyone noted in the document changes their name.
2. If an executor or attorney dies or become unwilling or unsuitable to act due to ill health, age or for any other reason.
3. If a beneficiary named in your will dies.
4. If any specific property has been left to a particular beneficiary in your will and you subsequently sell that property or it changes in nature.
5. If your family situation or that of your family members change, for example, marriage, divorce, matrimonial problems, children or further children or de facto relationships
6. If you become involved in a new business, company or trust or if you take up permanent residence in another state or overseas.
Whilst it is not necessary to change your Will if you change your address, if any of the above events occurred, then we would recommend changing your documents and ensuring they reflect your current address.
If it has been some time since you reviewed your will or enduring power of attorney, then perhaps it is time to make an appointment to meet with one of our solicitors to update your enduring documents where necessary.
How are Wills stored? What is safe custody?
When you attend with a lawyer to prepare a will, after signing the Will and giving you a copy, the lawyer will usually receipt your original documents into safe custody. At our firm, we store your documents in a locked, fire proof safe so that if you ever require your will, then you have the peace of mind that the documents have been stored safely and securely. This is a free service. We always suggest giving our details to your executor or others named in your Will so that when the document is needed they know where to locate it.
We recommend that you regularly review your safe custody documents, particularly if events occur in your life that require the documents to be changed. When you attend with us to review and update your will for example, we will always retrieve your old will from our safe custody and once the new will is signed, destroy the old one. We take this step on your behalf and with your instructions so that when the times to use the document, there is no confusion about which is your last will.
If you have any questions about reviewing your will or would like further information about any of the above, please contact us.