|Why have a will?
A will forms your instructions to those you leave behind, setting out your
intentions for passing on your money and possessions. With a more mobile
society, the shrinking boundaries of the Global Village and the trend towards
families of multiple partners, a will is an essential family document.
And the baby-boomer generation, the most affluent in history, has more
reason than ever to want to see their property pass safely into the hands of the
Most people make a will while young and in their prime earning years - long
before it is likely to be needed. If family circumstances change - another
marriage, more children etc. - the will may be modified, or a new will made. You
should then re-register the new will.
But for your wishes to be given proper effect, it must be the last
will that your executors and trustees deal with. (Too bad if nobody knows that
the one they're using is wrong!) Life is a process of change and it is common
for changes to be made or new wills created. But only your last will counts, so
you should register it to make sure it can be located.
Your will may have been accidentally lost or destroyed.
Even if you
have made a will, the key is to have it easily available to your executors. Over
time, papers become mislaid or destroyed. Insects, rodents, mildew and unforseen
events – fire, flood, earthquake or natural disaster are matters to consider.
Store your will securely, or leave it
with your own legal professional.
How about a safe deposit box?. Be sure access is possible to the box
after your death. For example, if the safe deposit box is in your name alone, it
can probably be opened only by a person authorized by a court, and then only in
the presence of an employee. If there is delay in making these arrangements,
your document will be locked away from those who need access.
In most legal jurisdictions
if you marry, or remarry, your old will is automatically revoked (unless
expressly made in contemplation of marriage.)
If you and your spouse separate the provisions of your existing will may
prevail pending a formal dissolution of the marriage or some other event
prescribed by law in your country. You may in this event consider making a new
If your marriage is dissolved, your will may be revoked to the extent of any
dispositions in favour of your former spouse. You should consult your legal
advisor on this matter.
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