Updating a Will

A Will is an important part of keeping estates and finances organised, so it is important that individuals keep it updated to reflect their current circumstances.

In the absence of a Will, the law dictates how an estate is managed.  The government will use the estate to pay any outstanding bills, and then distribute the remainder to family members using a formula. If the deceased has no living relatives, then all the assets are paid to the state government.

A Will is able to be updated at any time, and should be reviewed following any significant changes in an individual’s family, life or finances.

There are various reasons as to why an individual would need to update their Will. These can include:

-marriage or divorce

-commencement of a de-facto relationship

-birth or adoption of a child

-death of a family member or beneficiary

-substantial changes in the value of an estate

There are two options available when updating a Will. Individuals can choose to prepare and sign a new Will that revokes the old one, or prepare and sign a codicil. A codicil is a separate document that adds to, or replaces, one or more provisions in an existing Will.

The best option will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the individual’s situation.

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