Making Your Will Count – Healthy Will Checklist

It is important for everyone over 18 to have a Will to make sure their wishes are followed
and their assets are distributed as they would want after they die.

If you don’t have a Will your assets will be divided according to how the law dictates in
the rules of intestacy, that is, when you have not made a Will. If you die intestate it is
possible that your estate will not be distributed as you would have desired.

A Will is also the place where you can indicate to your family and friends your wishes on
other important matters, such as who you want to be the guardians of your children.

Making a Will shows a level of care in not wanting to give loved ones any more stress to
deal with than they will already face when you pass away. In many ways it is one of the
most selfless things you can do.

Regularly review your Will

Preparing a Will is not a once-off event. It is sensible to review your Will regularly.

Changes in your life, such as a separation from your spouse or de-facto partner, may
create problems for others in interpreting your wishes in any Will you have already made
and may undo all the good work you have done to protect those close to you by making
one. It can even make your Will ineffective or even invalid, especially in circumstances
of Divorce.

It could be that a Will made many years ago is still appropriate, just as it may be that a
recently made Will is now out of date.

Ideally you should review your Will annually, along with other annual events, such as
lodging your taxation returns. It is likely that your needs and circumstances will change
many times in the course of your life and with those changes it is prudent to consider
your Will. We suggest a review of your Will be done a minimum of every three to five

Healthy Will checklist

There are a number of life events that can impact on your Will and which mean you
need to revisit and update it.

Here is a checklist of life changes which can impact on the validity of your Will and which
you need to consider in examining the legal health of your existing Will.

  • Have you married? Or separated from your partner?
  • Have you had any children?
  • Is the person you named as executor, to carry out the wishes in your Will, still
    alive and well enough to do the job?
  • Have the circumstances of any beneficiaries changed to make you reconsider
    your wishes, or have any of them died?
  • Have you nominated any specific gifts that are no longer valid or don’t exist,
    for example, have you sold a property that you had left to someone in the
  • Have you acquired any new assets that you would want to make specific
    plans for in your Will?


At the same time as you check the health of your Will, you need to check your super and
life insurance, which is often now a part of your super policy.

Many people assume their superannuation will be divided up in accordance with the
wishes in their Will, but that is not necessarily the case. You need to look at your super
policy to check how you have nominated that your super should be allocated, and that it
is still allocated in the way you want.

At the same time, check the division of any life insurance you have in your policy, and
update it if necessary.


The important thing is to consider your circumstances at every major personal milestone
in your life.

Any Will you have made is likely to become out of date and no longer accurately
represent your wishes in some way following changes in your life, possibly within a few
years of drawing it up. It will depend on circumstances that are unique to you.

The preceding information is general and not intended to represent legal advice. You
should always consult a lawyer for advice specific to your circumstances and before
deciding on a course of action.

If you would like to discuss a new Will or changes in your circumstances and a review of
your current Will please call us on 03 8415 5600 or email us at

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