When should you update your Will?

November 3, 2021

Major Life Events

A general rule of thumb is that you should review your will each time you experience a major life event. This article provides an overview of some of the situations that may prompt you to update your will to ensure it is consistent with your current life situation and wishes.

New Children or Grandchildren

If you have a new child or grandchild, you may wish to update your will so that your new child or grandchild is provided for in your will and that a guardian is named for them. You may also wish to provide for stepchildren in your will.

Change in Marital Status

If there is a change in your marital status, whether you get married, divorced, separate from your partner or your partner or spouse passes away, you may wish to update the beneficiaries in your will. If your previous spouse or partner was named as an estate trustee, guardian, and/or beneficiary, you should review your will and update who you appoint for those roles.

Change in Financial Situation

If you have a sudden increase in wealth, you may wish to review your will and reconsider how you would like your wealth distributed. You may want to change your beneficiaries, add beneficiaries, increase or decrease the gifts you make, or leave a gift to charity.

If your wealth has decreased since the time you executed your will, you may wish to review any gifts you made in it to ensure that your estate has sufficient assets to carry out those gifts.

Recent Moves

If you have recently moved to a new country or province, the estate laws may be different from those of the jurisdiction in which your will was executed in. For example, the number of witnesses required for a will to be legally valid varies between jurisdictions. Our estate planning lawyers can assist you with ensuring that your will is valid in Ontario.

Change in Health

A change in your health may also lead you to review your will. If your health deteriorates, you may wish to review your will while you are still feeling well and have the capacity to make changes.

Similarly, if someone named in your will as executor, guardian or beneficiary experiences a change in health or passes away, they may not be able to take on the role anymore. They could also move away and no longer be an appropriate choice for executor or guardian. In these circumstances, you may wish to update who you’ve selected for those roles.

Change in Relationships

The relationships you have with those named in your will may change and you may no longer get along with them. In this case, you should consider updating your will to ensure that those who are named are willing and able to carry out their role.

Contact Cohen Highley’s Wills and Estate Law Lawyers Today For Legal Advice On Drafting Your Will

If you require legal assistance from an estate lawyer, contact our law firm to book a consultation with our estate law team. Our lawyers are proud to represent clients across Southwestern Ontario and have decades of experience handling wills and estates. Our law firm has offices in London, Kitchener, Chatham, Stratford and Strathroy, making it easier for residents of Southwestern Ontario to access our services. Contact us today.

*Disclaimer: Please note the content prescribed in this article is only intended to act as a general overview of a legal topic. For specific legal guidance regarding wills and estates, we recommend you consult with an estate lawyer for legal advice as each situation is unique.

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