My spouse and I are in the process of separating, at what stage should I look to update my Will?

A Will is an incredibly important yet relatively simple document. It sets out the manner in which we wish for our Estate to be distributed following our passing.

The Will may provide, for example, that the entire Estate is to pass to your spouse and in the event that your spouse pre-deceases you, then to your children in equal shares. This is the most common type of Will.

A Will remains valid as long as it has not been revoked. That is, a Will remains valid even though it is never updated or changed. A Will can be revoked in a number of ways. A new Will can be made revoking an earlier Will. A Will made prior to marriage will be revoked by the marriage unless the Will specifically provides that it was made in contemplation of the marriage. A document can be prepared specifically providing that the Will is revoked but this document will need to be signed by the maker of the Will, two witnesses and dated.

Although the Will does not need to be updated to remain valid, it may need to be updated to reflect a change in your personal circumstances. Such changes that would warrant the updating of a Will can be many and varied. A change in your circumstances would include getting married, separating or divorcing. It will also include having a child or children. If you engage in a new business venture, then you may wish to think about updating your Will to ensure that succession plans for that business are in place. Although a Will, once made, will remain valid for the balance of your life, it is always a good idea to ensure that your Will is reviewed and if necessary, updated when there is a significant change to your personal circumstances so as to ensure that the Will continues to reflect your wishes as to the distribution of your Estate as it may exist from time to time. Another way of updating the Will is by use of a Codicil which is a document that can be utilised to amend or alter the provisions of a Will.

Brydens Lawyers are experts in the making of legally valid Wills for the purpose of ensuring that all of your wishes are clearly provided for. For all and any Will enquiries including the updating of existing Wills, do not hesitate to contact Brydens Lawyers on 1800 848 848 or at brydens.com.au. At Brydens Lawyers #WE DO Wills and Estates.