Post Couple

Life events triggering the need to amend your will

After a major event in your life it may be time to review your will.

Events such as buying a home, divorcing, remarrying, having a new child, adopting a child, change of business structure, becoming self employed, selling major assets, or starting a self managed fund may not have been considered when you originally made your will.

Examples of how failing to amend your will can cause problems:

  • Fresh separation from spouse– the existing will still stands until you make another one.  Do you really want your ex to get everything?
  • Remarrying- invalidates the will.  It is as if you had no will at all.
  • Divorced you may still want your ex to still be the executor (to take care of assets before everything goes to the kids) but effect of divorce can lead to a different result.
  • New relationship but not yet married-if no provision made for your new partner they may have to fight it out in the courts against the existing beneficiaries named in your will if you pass away.  From my experience I have seen a lot of these cases where the step children of the new partner even deny there was a true defacto relationship with their late father, to negate a claim by the de facto.
  • Change of assets structure-in most cases Wills do not control the estate planning for where the assets of a company go, only the individual interests or shares of the Will make.    You think the assets of the company will go to the beneficiaries of your will but the Company constitution and holdings says otherwise.
  • Wrongly believing that your super automatically goes to whom you have nominated in your will- you may think that your super goes to certain family members as you set out in your will (because you didn’t make a death nomination with your super fund and you assumed whatever is in your will covers everything including your super). Where this happens the trustee of the super fund can still decide there are different individuals who were financial interdependent with you that should take your super death benefit instead.   This becomes problematic when trying to cut out adult children from benefits.