Brittany discusses Wills and separation

One of the questions we hear the most is, how often should I update my Will?

As a general rule, you should be reviewing your Will every five to seven years. However, when a significant life event occurs, such as the breakdown of a relationship, you should be reviewing your Will sooner.

In most cases, your spouse will be the sole or main beneficiary under your Will. It is generally only if your spouse were to die before you that your children will receive part of your estate.

Upon the breakdown of a relationship, you may no longer wish for your spouse to receive part of your estate and as such, you should be updating your Will to reflect that.

One issue that is often overlooked is what would happen to your superannuation if you were to pass away. Most people do not realise that superannuation benefits do not generally form part of your estate and therefore are not covered by a Will.

Who you wish to receive your superannuation benefits must be specified in a binding death benefit nomination. Some superannuation funds will automatically distribute superannuation benefits to the deceased’s spouse which may not be appropriate in all circumstances, including if your relationship has broken down. For more information of superannuation death benefit nominations, click here.

Whilst the breakdown of a relationship may be a stressful time to update your will, it is a relatively simple way to ensure that your wishes will be respected in the event of your death.

Need advice?

Contact one of our experienced lawyers today to discuss your estate planning needs.