It is not unusual to hear about plans going wrong or awry even after careful planning was carried out. A person can minimize any errors or problems though through careful monitoring of the plans step by step all the way.
Therefore, writing a Will after careful and detailed planning does not make it perfect or foolproof. A person’s life will undergo various changes throughout his lifetime which may affect his Will. Hence, it is wise to undertake a review of one’s Will from time to time to ensure it is up to speed.
Below are listed various scenarios or situations that necessitate a review of one’s Will:
- A change in one’s marital status. For example, getting married, divorced or separated.
- A change in the Executor’s status. For example, the Executor is migrating, has passed away, has declared bankruptcy or is incapacitated.
- A change in the guardian’s status. For example, he is migrating or has passed away.
- A change of heart or mind with regards to the beneficiaries. For example, the testator may wish to include a new beneficiary or to cut off a spendthrift beneficiary.
- A change in the witness status.
- There is a new addition to the family, i.e. a new baby.
- A beneficiary has passed away.
- There is a significant increased in the testator’s assets or estate.
Reviewing a written Will need not be an annual process as a person can do it bi-annually or even every five years. However, certain significant events do make it imperative for a person to review and write a new Will for example, if the appointed Executor has passed away. An event like this necessitates the writing of a new Will. This is to avoid unwanted or unpleasant consequences from arising such as “partial intestacy” where the beneficiaries fight among themselves to appoint their preferred choice of an administrator.
Another example is if the chosen guardian intends to migrate to another country or has a changed of heart about becoming the guardian. The testator may also choose to rewrite his Will if one or more of the beneficiaries prove to be undeserving of his estate. The testator may discover that a beneficiary has turned out to be uncaring and is likely to squander all of his inheritance away.
Hence, do not be surprised to hear of someone having a new Will drawn up and revoking an earlier Will. It is a normal act of ensuring a Will is updated to suit current conditions or situations. Everyone who has a Will should undertake a review once in a while or if one or more of the situations stated above arises.
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