As an estate planning lawyer, I often encounter surprising scenarios with my clients. Many are unaware that their outdated wills—drafted before major life milestones such as the birth of children, relocation, or the death of parents—still govern the distribution of their assets upon their death. It is also common for individuals to be unaware that getting married automatically revokes a previous will. These are crucial details that underscore the importance of regularly reviewing your estate planning documents. 


why regular review is necessary 


your will 

Your will should accurately reflect your current wishes. Failing to update your will means that: 

  1. An old will could still be valid and enforceable upon your death.
  2. Without a valid will, intestacy laws apply [created for when a person dies without leaving a valid will], often leading to unintended consequences for the distribution of your estate.

For instance, under intestacy, if survived by a spouse and children, the spouse might receive the first $150,000 of your estate and a portion of the remainder, with the balance divided among your children. This distribution might not align with your current wishes. 

I recommend reviewing your will annually around tax time [June 30], as it coincides with financial reviews. However, immediate updates are crucial if you experience significant life changes such as: 

  • you change your name or anyone named in the will changes their names
  • if any executor dies or becomes unwilling or unsuitable to act due to ill-health, age or any other reason
  • if a beneficiary dies
  • if any specific property has been left to a specific beneficiary and you later sell that property or it changes in nature
  • your assets change or your assets significantly increase in value 
  • you sell your business 
  • if the family situation of yourself or any beneficiary changes [e.g. marriage, divorce, matrimonial problems, children, grandchildren, de facto relationships]
  • if you become involved in a new business, company or trust
  • you take up permanent residence in another state or overseas


enduring power of attorney [EPOA]

An EPOA allows a designated individual to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. Like your will, this document should reflect your current wishes and be reviewed annually.  

Significant changes in your life or the lives of those named in your EPOA [such as your attorney] may require immediate revisions. 


superannuation and death benefits 

It’s critical to understand that superannuation is not covered by your will unless directed via a binding death benefit nomination [BDBN]. Without a BDBN, the superannuation fund trustee decides on the distribution of your benefits, which might not align with your estate plan. Since BDBNs can lapse every three years, regular reviews are necessary to ensure they remain valid and reflect your current intentions. 


the businessDEPOT advantage 

For clients using our Accounting and Tax services, we offer the convenience of synchronising the review of your will with your tax planning needs. Simply contact a member of our team and we can easily arrange. 


take action and protect your legacy 

The consequences of not keeping your estate planning documents up to date can be significant and distressing for your loved ones. To ensure your wishes are executed as you intend, consider making an annual review part of your routine tax time. For detailed guidance or to initiate a review, reach out to our team 


we’re here to help ensure your estate plan reflects your current wishes  

If you need guidance on keeping your estate planning documents up to date or initiating a review, our legal team is ready to help. Contact us at or call 1300BDEPOT to discuss updating your will and arrangements further.  


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General advice disclaimer 
The information provided in this article is a brief overview of the subject matter and does not constitute any type of advice. We endeavour to ensure that the information provided is accurate however, information may become outdated as legislation, policies, regulations and other considerations constantly change. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial, investment or legal decision and should consult an appropriate professional before making any decision.