Your last will and testament is one of the most important and powerful documents of your life and as we like say, and as we like to say!
Making a valid will is the only way you can ensure your assets are distributed to your love ones in the way you wanted. We regularly come across mistakes in wills that our clients have either made themselves or had drafted elsewhere and thought we would share some insight with you:
Where should I keep my will?
There are no requirements in NSW to have your will registered so it is important you keep it in a safe place (such as a safe) and to tell your Executor where your will is. Remember if you pass away and your will cannot be located then it isn?t much use! Some financial institutions are known to keep original copies of wills and law firms to so make sure you ask. If you ever lose your will make sure a copy is obtained from the person who drafted it as soon as possible because you never know when you or your family may need it.
When should I update my will?
There are loads of different scenarios that require your will to be updated and loads of scenarios that don?t and we always tell our clients ?check with your Lawyer?. We don?t charge our clients to answer this question and it is usually a very simple process of advising if your will requires updating or not. Some of the common scenarios that may require you to update your will are remarrying, changing Executors or Beneficiaries and amending or adding bequests. If a beneficiary in your will dies it is also advisable to update your will.
Amending your will
It is possible to amend your will rather than redoing all of it using a document called a codicil. This is a separate document to your will and exists in addition to your original will. We don?t like codicil?s as in the event they are misplaced or lost then your original will still happens in the way it was originally drafted. Another reason we don?t like codicils is if you are already amending your will you may as well take the opportunity to update all of it because there might be other things you have in mind which your Lawyer can do for you at the same meeting. Imagine if you had three or four codicils plus your original will ? over 30 years it is very likely something could become lost.
Does marriage or divorce affect my will?
Generally speaking if you make a will in anticipation of marriage and then marry the same person your will is valid. Divorce on the other hand can result in any gifts to your previous spouse being declared invalid. Divorce can also result in your former spouse being removed as the Executor of the will. Always ensure that upon divorce you draft a new will as soon as possible and get legal advice.
Article provided by Jeremy Maspero
Do you need a Lawyer to write, amend or look over your will? With 30+ yrs experience, home visits and after hours availability ? call Maspero legal today on 8052 3322.