30 Mar Lessons from the Death Star – When should I review my Will?
You’ve made your will, got it done, signed, safely stored in your lawyer’s strong room. What now?
Although there’s no set time frame, we recommend an annual check up, and here’s why:
- marriage and divorce – both can make an impact on your will
- re-marriage and further children including step children
- the birth of children or more children
- family members with special needs
- eg intellectual disability, drug dependency)
- bankruptcy or likely bankruptcy of any beneficiary
- passing away of any beneficiaries, trustees or executors
- disposal of specific gifts you may have left for certain beneficiaries in your will
Take for example the following typical family circumstances:
Very organised at a young age, Anakin Skywalker made a will, leaving all of his assets to his beautiful bride Padme, and failing that, everything on trust for their children in equal shares until they reached the age of 21 Coruscant solar cycles.
Padme tragically died during the birth of their twin children Luke and Leia, and because by this time Anakin had an unsettling penchant for magic and intergalactic domination it was determined that his children were better off being reared separately, one by distant relatives who lived in a sand quarry, and the other a family of politicians.
As it happened, Anakin (who by this time changed had his name by deed poll to Mr D Vader) became a highly successful overlord, amassing great wealth, lots of death stars and so on. However, he never really re-engaged with Luke and Leia, making only intermittent contact over the years, where they would just argue and get into fights. Anakin definitely never supported them, and didn’t want to leave them any of his vast fortune, and it was clear that everyone had moved on.
Just prior to his untimely death, Anakin re-married, and his new bride Marge Vader (nee Simpson) also had twins, Bart and Lisa. However, under Anakin’s only will, Luke and Leia were to inherit assets worth gazillions in Imperial Credit, while Bart and Lisa were left with nothing. Marge commenced the galaxy’s most expensive family provision proceedings shortly after.
So what should you do, and how do you keep on top of things as life goes on?
Right now, put a recurring reminder in your smart phone and link it to this page so you can jog your memory.
Reviewing and updating your will is sensible maintenance for your life succession plan, and it’s so simple. To ignore it can result in irreparable damage and massive cost. Just ask the Vaders.
Contact our Personal Estate Planning Team today by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org