Updating a Will

“Updating your will is a wise move in an event like the birth of a new child or entering into a long-term meaningful relationship as these events can affect the distribution of your estate after your passing.”

Updating your will means that it is current and provides for your loved ones in accordance of your current wishes. There are, of course, obvious circumstances that call for immediate attention to updating your will. At the same time, there are reasons that may prompt an update or change to your will but are not always obvious. Some law changes can affect the value of your estate or the way it is managed. It is therefore strongly recommended that periodically you review your will and seek legal advice as to its validity and ability to cater for your current circumstances.

Why update a will?

There are common reasons for reviewing your will and making changes or updates to its content. You can update, change, or rewrite your will as often as you wish. If you write a new will, it will automatically cancel your old one. Some of the reasons for reviewing and updating your will include:

  • Getting married or divorced.
  • The birth of a new child or grandchild.
  • Persons named in your current will as executors have either died or lost legal capacity to make decisions or are unwilling to act in that capacity.
  • Persons named in your current will as beneficiaries have died.
  • Purchasing a new asset or investment like a house or other property.
  • Buying or becoming a partner in a business.
  • Becoming involved in a company or trust.
  • The sale of a significant asset or decrease in value of an asset.
  • A significant change in laws that may affect the value of management of your estate.
  • Any significant change in personal or financial circumstances.

How often should a will be reviewed?

You can review or update your will as often as you wish, however, a change may not always be required. A periodic review of your will means ensuring your will is up to date and that it sets out your wishes with regards to your current assets and the parties, and manner in which you would like them distributed after you pass away.

While there may not be any changes to your personal or financial circumstances, we, on reviewing your will, can advise you if your will can function more efficiently in light of current laws. Therefore we suggest you review your will on a yearly basis.

How do I change a will?

There are two ways to changing a will, codicil and revoking the will.

  • CodicilThis is to bring about minor changes to your existing will. However, codicils can be confusing and complex as they must not contradict other provisions in your will and must not be a cause of confusion. If changes are made to a will where such changes cause confusion, they may be deemed invalid and ineffective.
  • Revoking the willRevoking a will simply means cancelling the will. If you chose to revoke your will due to a life changing event, your new will becomes the current and valid one.

We can advise you on the best approach to updating your will and help you make the required changes effectively. Ask us today to arrange for a consultation on updating your will.

WILLS, WILL DISPUTES & ESTATES

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