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When Should You Make Changes To Your Will?

When Should You Make Changes to Your Will?

As things in your life change, you must also regularly update your will. You want to make sure that should the unexpected happen, your will reflects your wishes and that your chosen beneficiaries under your new circumstances will get the inheritance.

In this post, your trusted estate planning lawyer is going to discuss some situations wherein it will be wise to change your will:

When You Have a Child

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised by how many people don’t update their will after the birth of a child. If you were to pass away unexpectedly, your child would not be listed as your heir, which would mean that the state would put them up for adoption. If you want your child to receive everything you have, you need to update your will. This goes for your spouse as well.

When You Get Married

You should update your will any time you get married. If you didn’t update your will after the birth of your child, you should update your will after your marriage.

When You Get Divorced

This may seem like a counter-intuitive piece of advice, but the truth is that you need to update your will if you get divorced. There is a real chance that your spouse could take on the role of primary caregiver to your children, and your will should reflect that.

When You Have a Change in Your Financial Situation

If you are in the midst of a financial windfall, such as a major inheritance or a huge promotion at your job, you should update your will. If you pass away and do not update your will, your existing will no longer reflect your wishes, and you may find yourself disinheriting your well-deserving children or spouse.

When You Change Your Mind About Your Beneficiaries

If you have a beneficiary named in your will but now have a change of heart, you can revoke the beneficiary via a codicil. A codicil is an amendment to your will that is included in a separate document. Because it is a separate document, it takes effect right away, so you can immediately make changes to your will. However, once the codicil is signed, it becomes part of your will, just like the original document. Therefore, you cannot revoke a codicil. You can only make another codicil that revokes the previous codicil.

How to Change Your Will

If you would like to change your will, here is what you can do:

Make a list of the changes you would like to make to your will, Review your will with your attorney, Decide which name you would like to add or remove. Write a codicil to your will and sign it.

You must make sure that everything in your will is accurate. Be sure not to forget anything. If possible, have your will reviewed by a lawyer. By following these steps, you can ensure that your will is in the best possible condition.


Unfortunately, the death of a loved one is something that happens all too often. Most of us know someone who has experienced this heart-wrenching loss. If you have updated your will, it is most likely that you will be able to rest easy knowing that your wishes will be carried out. If you have not done anything about your will, now is the time to take action. Contact a reputable estate planning attorney who can guide you through it. 

Ontario Wills offers you the services of a seasoned estate planning lawyer who can help you write or amend your will. Contact us today so we can set an appointment for you.

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