Is Your Will Out-of-Date?

Is Your Will Out-of-Date?

For many of us life changes quickly and time can seem to disappear.  Updating your will might be a forgotten item on your to-do list.  It’s important that your will is kept up-to-date to reflect the changes in your life.

Forgotten children

One of the most common items missed, when a will is not current, is the inclusion of children who come along after their previous will was completed.  This can cause many problems for executors because legally they are bound by law to carry out the will.  They are not permitted to decide on their own to add in new beneficiaries because they were left out.

What happens if children are left out of a will?

If a child is a minor and/or dependent on the deceased, they may be entitled to a portion of the estate but it is not guaranteed.  This depends on the law of the province. For adult children there are only a few options if they are left out of a will,

  1. They can take it to court and contest the will. A judge will decide.
  2. They can have the beneficiaries agree in writing to change the will and take less of the state for themselves.

It is important for parents who want all children to be included in the will that their wills are up-to-date.

Financial changes

Throughout the course of a person’s life changes in financial position are common.  What might make sense early in a person’s life may not be appropriate later.  For example it is common for a person with a young family to leave his/her estate entirely to the family.  If that person retires with a substantial estate their family may not need all of the inheritance.

Giving to the Lord or other charities would be a good use of those extra resources.  The will would need updating to reflect the change in the desires.

Disclaimer: This article provides information only and is not intended to confer legal or financial advice or opinion. If you have any further questions please consult a lawyer or accountant. Please note as well that many of the statements herein are general principles which may vary on a case by case basis.