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Reviewing your Will
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Reviewing your Will

By regularly reviewing your Will, you can make sure it stays valid and up to date, so your wishes can be met.

I decided to include a gift in my Will to the Heart Foundation after losing Mum. I chose to make it a percentage gift, because you never know what a cash gift will be worth in the future – but a percentage is always a percentage.

- Lucy Ford, Heart Foundation supporter 

As life changes, so should your Will 

We all experience significant changes during our lives. In many cases, these events can affect the validity of your Will. Events such as marriage, separation, the arrival of children and grandchildren, travel and property purchases are all times when it might be wise to review your Will.  
 
By reviewing your Will with your solicitor or legal adviser regularly, you can make sure your Will remains valid – so you can take care of the people and causes you care about. 
 
We’ve put together the following guide to help you work out when you should review your Will, as well as the changes you may wish to make.

'Waterproofing’ your Will? 

Lucy is one of many supporters who told us that she revisits her Will regularly, to ‘waterproof’ it. 

Lucy is leaving a percentage of her estate to the Heart Foundation as she believes it’s a simple and impactful way to continue to support the cause she loves: 

Using a percentage seemed straightforward and logical. I thought: I have four foundations in mind, and I will treat them like my children, to be divided equally.

Lucy has kindly offered to share her checklist so you can ensure that your Will reflects your wishes and circumstances at the time of writing it.  

When you should review your Will 

Change in family circumstances 

  • Births, deaths, marriages 
  • Separation or divorce 
  • Starting a de facto relationship 
  • Your children remarrying or getting divorced. 

Change in the Executor or other beneficiaries 

  • Is your Executor still able to carry out their duties? 
  • Have any beneficiaries passed since writing your Will? 
  • Have any beneficiaries moved overseas? 

Change in financial circumstances 

  • Retirement is an ideal time to be proactive in your estate planning and explore tax-effective arrangements through your Will
  • A fixed sum of money in a previous Will may be of less value in ‘today’s’ dollars  

Changes in your assets 

  • Buying or selling assets such as property, cars, shares 
  • Will there be enough funds to cover any specific gifts?  

Change of residence 

  • Have you moved interstate or overseas? 

Support of a charity 

  • Does the charity you’ve included in your Will still exist? 
  • Is there a charity you’d like to support in the future? 

Access to your Will 

  • Do you have a copy of the most recent version of your Will? 
  • Have you destroyed older copies? 

Think about your pets (your beloved, extended family) 

  • Consider ways to care for your dear pet/s who may outlive you 

Talk to your legal advisor if it’s been a while since your last review 

  • Even if you haven’t experienced any of the events above, it’s a good idea to review your Will every one to two years to make sure it still reflects your wishes.  
  • Talk to your solicitor or legal adviser to make sure your review covers everything that’s needed. 

Find out more about bequests 

Request a free information pack
  • Request a call back 

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