Should Barbara update will after her husband’s death?

Does Barbara need to update her will after her husband’s death?

‘Do I need a codicil to my will?’

Barbara’s husband recently passed away and she has made some financial changes. She asks estate planning lawyer Rod Cunich whether she needs to update her will.

Q. Barbara
My husband passed away earlier this year and I went to my solicitor to update my will. He says it is okay as it is as there were provisions in the event of my husband's death and he told me to save my money.

Since then, my super has been converted to a managed funds account and I wish this account to be treated differently to the balance of the estate. Can you please advise the correct procedure to add a codicil to my existing will?

A. I’m not certain what you mean Barbara. If the money is no longer in super but in an account owned and controlled by you, then you now need to do a new will to address the changes you require.

If, by ‘managed funds account’ you mean the money remains in super but in a different type of super account, you may be able to direct where your death benefit goes by serving a binding death benefit nomination on the trustee directing where the money is paid and bypass your will. But not all super funds offer this option.

If you go back to your solicitor, she or he should be able to clarify this for you easily. What is certain, however, is that you must do something to activate your wishes, otherwise things won’t unfold the way you want them.

Rod Cunich is a lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience and who specialises in estate planning. If you have a question for Rod, simply email it to: newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au

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    Disclaimer: This information has been provided by Rod Cunich and should be considered general in nature – legal advice should be sought.





    COMMENTS

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    sunnyOz
    19th Jun 2019
    12:24pm
    After 2 recent experiences, I seriously wonder what a will is really for. Both were contested, and the only winners were the solicitors. You simply cannot leave your estate to who you want to. I'll rephrase that - yes, you can say in your will who you want to leave your estate to but there is absolutely no guarantee that your wishes will be adhered to.
    KB
    19th Jun 2019
    1:55pm
    If you do not leave a will then your assets will be divided among close or other living relations otherwise without a will the money will be taken by the government
    Sheriff
    19th Jun 2019
    3:38pm
    Not sure where you get the bit about the money will be taken by the government . This would happen with or without a will if there were no beneficiaries left.
    KB
    19th Jun 2019
    1:55pm
    If you do not leave a will then your assets will be divided among close or other living relations otherwise without a will the money will be taken by the government
    Karl Marx
    19th Jun 2019
    7:08pm
    yes, any change in circumstances should require a new will.