The older these documents are when they need to be used, the greater the risk of a successful challenge to them, when you will not be able to defend your decisions. It’s all about Risk Management.
If you have a proven track record of reviewing and confirming or amending your estate planning documents and keeping them up to date every 3-5 years, there is a much reduced risk of interference with your wishes.
Creating your estate plan is important, but after creating one, it is also essential that you review it periodically to maintain it. Because your personal circumstances change over time, what was applicable to you at one point in time might not be at a later point in time. Ideally, you should review your plan at least every two years and refresh it at least every 5 years so that you can ensure that it will perform the way that you want. You might find that some adjustments need to be made because of a change in circumstance.
Some of the factors that can influence whether or not you need to alter your will include the following:
- Name changes due to people getting married or divorced
- Births or adoptions
- Moving to another state
- Major changes in your financial status
- New grandchildren born
- Inherit a large sum of money
- Changes in laws governing Wills and estate planning
It is also a good idea to review the Binding Death Benefit Nominations on your superannuation and insurance policies when you review your plan, and you might want to review the benefits of your insurance policies to ensure that those policies still correspond to your wishes.
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you might need to update your estate plan:
- Have any of your Powers-of-Attorney changed address?
- Do you have changes in specific bequests?
- Do you have a substantial change in asset-valuation?
- Do you require a change in special provisions for children?
- Are there any newly born or adopted children?
- Are there any disabled or special-needs children?
- Has there been a change in the status of family marriages?
- Has there been a forgiveness or cancellation of loans to children?
- Has there been a change in life insurance?
- Has there been a change in any gifts you would like to denote to minors or charities?
- Has there been a change in your business interests?
- Has there been a change in your guardian, personal representatives or trustees?
Genders & Partners is the oldest law firm in South Australia, and we specialise in Wills & estate planning in Adelaide. We can assist you with any changes or reviews that you need to your Will and estate plan. We offer a free telephone consultation for these areas, so call us today on (08) 8212 7233 to get started.
By keeping your documents updated regularly you can always keep your plan fully compliant with applicable laws & procedures, so you greatly reduce the risk of a successful challenge to your intentions later on. In this way, you are giving your family the best chance at a worry-free transition when the time comes.