When should I review and update my Will?

When to make a new Will

  • If you do not have a current copy of your Will or are unable to locate your most recent original Will, you should consider drafting a new Will.
  • If you wish to make extensive changes to your existing Will, preparing a new Will entirely may be the best option to ensure that your instructions and wishes are clear and that your Will is not to be misconstrued or contested upon your passing.

When to make a changes to your Will?

The NSW Trustee & Guardian recommends that you review your will every 3 to 5 years.

You may consider reviewing and updating your current will for the following reasons (but not limited to):

  • Marriage, separation and divorce;
  • Starting or growing your family;
  • The passing of a beneficiary;
  • New assets or major changes to financial circumstances;
  • Retirement; and
  • Illness

Codicil

Where your wish to alter your existing Will and the changes to be made are not extensive or complex, you can do this by way of codicil. A codicil is a document that supplements your existing Will, but does not replace it. It allows you to change your Will without making an entirely new Will.

Drafting your Will with a Solicitor will ensure that any codicil is drafted in a way which clearly reflects the parts of the Will which are to be revoked and the parts that are to be confirmed. This ensures that the Will and the codicil make sense when read together.

In circumstances if you are intending to make changes to your beneficiaries’ entitlements under your Will or add/remove any beneficiaries, you should consider drafting a completely new Will as opposed to a codicil. A codicil will not offer the same extent of protection that a new Will may offer with respect to any potential challenge to your estate by the original beneficiaries. Where this is the case, a new Will is preferable as it serves to nullify the previous Will.

If you are in a similar situation and have recently experienced any of the above changes and are unsure as to whether you need to replace or update your Will, or are unable to locate your current Will, or would simply like to create a new Will, our expert Wills and Estate Lawyers will be more than happy to assist you.

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The articles on this website comprise legal general information and not legal advice. The general information presented here must not be relied upon without legal advice being sought. In the event that you wish to obtain legal advice on the contents of this general information you may do so by contacting our office or your existing solicitor.