Estate Planning

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When did you last make a Will? Have you married, divorced or had children since then? Has your executor passed away? Then it is time to update your Will!


It is important that you have a current Will that meets your wishes and is tailored to your individual circumstances when:-

- You have assets that you would like distributed in a certain way.
- You own your own business.
- You get married, divorced or enter into a de-facto relationship.
- You have children under the age of 18 years.
- You have a family member with special needs (e.g. a disability).
- You wish to leave money to your favourite charity or non-profit organisation.

You should definitely consider updating your existing Will, or making a new Will, if one or more of the following circumstances has occurred in your life:-

  • 1. If you marry.  Your existing Will is revoked by the marriage unless it is expressed to be
  •     made in contemplation of that marriage.
  • 2. If you divorce.  If you are contemplating divorce or have been divorced since making your
  •     last Will, you should contact Rankin Ellison Lawyers about the contents of your current
  •     Will, as some bequests in the Will will normally not take effect.
  • 3. If other circumstances change. For example:-
    a. If you change your name.
    b. If an executor named in your current Will dies or becomes unsuitable for the role due to
        age, ill health or any other reason.
    c. If a beneficiary named in your Will dies.
    d. If you have specifically left any property under your Will that you subsequently sell or  
        give away or convert into some other form of property.
    e. You should also seek legal advice if you own a property left in your Will through a trust
        or a partnership.
    f. If you have children, including adopted or foster children.
    g. If you enter into or end a de-facto relationship.

If you don’t have a valid Will your loved ones may not be adequately catered for.  Some problems which may arise include:

- Your estate being distributed in accordance with a statutory formula set by the Succession
   Act. Under this legislation, the people who you want to benefit from your estate may not
   be the ones that ultimately do!
- Your family and loved ones not being provided for in accordance with your wishes.
- You may not be able to express a wish about who is appointed as guardian of your minor
- Your family members with special needs might not be adequately provided for.
- The administration of your estate taking more time and being more costly than would
   otherwise be the case if you had made a valid Will.

For any questions in relation to this topic or any other Estate Planning matter, please call us on 1300 727 813 or email us.

Related articles:
- Your Will - Can It be Disputed?
- I'm Too Young To Worry About That!

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