Your will is a vitally important document. It usually involves your family and your assets and needs to be checked and updated on a regular basis, because you never know when you will need it! Consider it financial and family maintenance.
Has your family changed?
If anything has changed in your family (births, adoptions, deaths, marriages or divorces) or if you have bought, sold or inherited assets, it is time to update your will.
You may also have changed – since your will was written, you may have developed a relationship with a charity or organisation that you may like to include.
Go through your list of heirs, executors, guardians, trustees and the like. Are they all still alive, of sound mind, or have circumstances changed that require them to be removed from your will? If you have clauses such as coming of age in your will, check that the people concerned haven’t already met the age.
Have your circumstances changed?
Your estate may have experienced a major increase or decrease in value since your will was written, an as such will require review.
Have any laws (eg tax) changed that affect your estate?
If so, it is time to act.
Have you moved overseas or are you planning to do so? Laws in other countries may have an impact upon your wishes.
At a minimum, your will should have a ‘warrant of fitness’ every three years or so. Don’t put it off. For peace of mind and ease of operation, your will must be correct and up to date. It is among the most important legal documents you will ever sign, and should be maintained as such.