How your Will may have changed without you realizing it

SullivanLaw Associate Christine McKeating on wills and estates

By Litigation Associate Christine McKeating

You may think that if you’ve already written your Last Will & Testament, you have your estate planning completed. However, you may be surprised to learn that Wills are not a single-task to be completed and then forgotten. In general, one’s Will needs period review so that it clearly states your intentions when the time comes. Many of life’s circumstances change over time. If you already have a Will, it could be time to review it.

There are many circumstances that could affect how your Will is interpreted. Below are some common ways circumstances which will have an effect on your last intentions:

Family changes

  • You married or cohabited with a new partner
  • You divorced or separated
  • You started living alone
  • You have more children or your adult children have returned home
  • Your minor children have new guardians
  • Your children become adults
  • You have grandchildren or step-children

Business or Asset Changes

  • Your assets have significantly changed
  • You started a business
  • You moved to or from another province or country
  • You acquired major assets in another province or country

Will Changes

  • You can’t find your original Will
  • It has been more than 5 years since you last renewed your Will
  • Those you named in your Will have become estranged or died


Any of these changes could have varying impacts on your Will, ranging from changing where your assets go after death to nullifying your Will entirely. Legal responsibilities not accounted for in your Will may be read-in by a court or your Will may be challenged.

If you already have a Will and have since experienced any of the above significant life changes, it is a good idea to review your Will with a lawyer. If you have been putting off getting a Will, now is as a good a time as any. When it comes to Wills, you can wait too long.

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