With the number of things we have all been unprepared for since the start of the year, your estate planning should never be one of them. Sometimes just having a Will is not enough – with all of the changes that happen in life, it’s important to consider what those changes mean for the yourself and your loved ones. Updating and regularly reviewing your Will can help ensure your estate is prepared and your loved ones are taken care of, in the event of your passing.
How do you know if you should update your Will?
Before you start considering updating your Will, there are some questions you may want to ask yourself:
- Has your relationship changed with any of your executors, beneficiaries, trustees, or guardians? If your personal relationship with any individual listed in your Will has been negatively affected, you may want to consider removing or replacing them. It’s important to have the right people on your side in the event of your passing. If your relationship with a beneficiary has changed, it is important to seek legal advice on the implications of removing this individual from your Will.
- Have your assets changed significantly? If you’ve gained or lost a notable amount of assets, you will want your Will to reflect those changes. Was your stock portfolio greatly affected by the aftermath of Covid-19? Have you recently purchased a new house or other piece of real estate? It’s important that your Will is a true reflection of your assets.
- Has an important individual listed in your Will passed? In the event of the passing of an executor, beneficiary, guardian, or trustee, you will want to review your current Will and designated a different individual to that role.
Depending on the complexity of your Will, it’s a good idea to review it regularly to make sure all of your bases are covered. Estate planning is an important part of life, and doing it thoroughly can ensure your family has an easier time learning to navigate life without you.
Options for updating your Will
You have two options if you’d like to make changes to your Will after it’s been duly executed, depending on the nature, number and type of changes you’d like to make: you can create a codicil to your current Will or you can make an entirely new Will. A codicil is an addendum that changes, revokes, or provides further explanation to a Will or part of a Will. Generally, a codicil is more cost-effective, depending on the complexity of the changes to be made.
If most of your current Will needs to be changed or updated, it may be prudent to have an entirely new one drafted, though this option may be less cost-effective.
If you are unsure of which option suits your needs best, it’s always a good idea to contact us and we can give you the lowdown on how to best protect your assets. We understand everyone has a different story and we aim to provide tailored solutions to your estate planning needs.
What if I don’t have a Will in place?
If you’ve been putting off estate planning, now is a great time to get started. We are offering 30% off estate planning services until August 31, 2020, so there’s no better time to cross estate planning off your list of things to do. If you have any questions about this promotion or estate planning in general, please do not hesitate to contact us.