Most people will agree that a Will is an important part of Estate Planning, but it is not a set and forget type of document. There are many things to consider including changes in personal circumstances, finances, family additions and breakdowns. Our lives are constantly changing and so are the needs and requirements of a valid Will.
A valid Will is important as it outlines your wishes and provides direction on where you want your assets to go to. You may think that your circumstances are relatively easy or that you don’t have a great deal of assets or that your Estate will automatically transfer to your spouse, but this is not always the case.
You may also have an idea in your mind. I’ll just split my estate between my spouse and children. However, there are many other factors to consider. Some of your assets may be transferred automatically upon death. Some assets may be directed specifically to certain beneficiaries. Some assets may not be under your direct control. The 50/50 split you have in your mind may not necessarily be the actual outcome.
Financial considerations aside, ensuring that dependents are considered and taken care of is another aspect to think about. Traditionally people think of their dependents as minor children or elderly parents but please be aware that any person you maintain financially could also be considered a dependent and therefore request a claim of your Estate even if they have not been expressly provided for.
As with all legal documents it is advisable to seek professional advice. Everybody’s circumstances are different, and one size does not fit all. Remember, a Will is only effective if it is valid and represents your wishes at that particular time and is property executed.
<Author: Charissa Ng>