Make That Will

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Sydney, Feb 8: As people celebrate Valentine’s Day with romantic gestures, NSW Trustee & Guardian are reminding everyone to update their Will if their relationship changes. 
Life administration and legal documents aren’t romantic but updating your Will can be one of the most practical ways to demonstrate how much you care about someone,’ Senior Solicitor Estate Planning, Natalie Darcy said.
‘When a significant change in your relationship occurs, if you don’t update an existing Will or have one written, it can affect who inherits your estate when you die.’ 
In NSW, the Succession Act 2006 sets out who will receive your estate if you die without a valid Will and who can contest your Will and estate.
The Act notes that getting married revokes a Will you had previously made, however, there are some exceptions so it’s important to seek professional advice.
“Updating your existing Will is essential when a relationship changes and should be one of the first things couples consider,” Darcy said.
She reminds those living in de facto relationships not to be complacent and ensure their Will reflects their current situation.
‘If you’re living in a de facto relationship at the time of your death and you don’t have a valid and up to date Will, the need to prove the relationship can result in additional expenses and distress to your partner at a time when they are grieving,’ Darcy said.
While love is in the air, separation and divorce are also important life triggers.
In NSW, if you are separated and you pass away without having updated your Will, your former spouse may inherit any gifts you leave behind. 
Similarly, if you appointed them as your executor, they may still be entitled to take up that role even if you no longer want them to, she added.
Making or updating a Will doesn’t need to be complex, time consuming or costly.
“If your relationship has changed or you are just not sure if your current Will is valid, speak to one of our friendly Will-makers today,” she added.

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