Rights & Money

When to Update Your Will

If you don’t keep your will up to date, you could create problems you thought you’d avoided

A popular regular feature in Good Times magazine is “Your Questions,” where Olev Edur provides answers to questions from our readers regarding their rights, personal finance, and estate planning. Here’s one on estate planning.

Q. My husband and I made our wills several years ago, but last year, we retired and moved from Alberta to British Columbia. Should we redo our wills, which we created while living in Alberta? Some of our friends say we don’t need to bother, and we’d prefer not to spend the money on a lawyer if we don’t have to, but we still find ourselves wondering?

A. In a word, yes. Any time your circumstances change to any significant extent—as certainly would be the case with a move to a new province—you need to update your wills. If you fail to do so, the result could be lengthy delays in probating your estate and possibly legal costs far beyond what it would have cost to redo your wills in the first place.

My advice is, don’t listen only to your friends when it comes to making important legal or financial decisions—do the right thing now so the situation doesn’t come back to bite you (or your estate) later on. Make new wills and keep them up to date by reviewing them every year or two to make sure everything remains accurate and representative of your circumstances as time goes by.

Photo: iStock/eric1513.