Wills: 5 Life Events That Affect Your Estate Planning

Uncover the impact of life's big moments on estate planning in our insightful read. From saying "I do" to gracefully ageing, learn why updating your Will is a must. Get valuable insights into how these events shape your estate planning decisions and pick up tips for navigating them smoothly.

Liane Yong

Liane Yong

Lawyer, Managing Director

11 min read •

Life’s journey is filled with moments that shape our paths and influence our decisions, especially when it comes to estate planning. From the highs of celebrating milestones to the lows of navigating unexpected challenges, every twist and turn impacts how we plan for the future. In this article, we’ll dive into five major life events that can significantly impact your estate planning journey. Whether it’s welcoming a new family member or facing the complexities of divorce, understanding how these events shape your Will is crucial for securing your legacy.

The Importance of Having a Will

  • Control Over Asset Distribution

    With a Will, you have control over how your assets are distributed. You can specify who receives specific items, whether it’s a family heirloom or your savings. This ensures that your belongings are passed on to those you deem deserving or important, rather than relying on the default laws of the state, which may not align with your wishes.

  • Appointment of Guardian for Children

    For parents with young children, a Will allows you to name a guardian to take care of your children if something happens to both parents. Without a Will, the court will decide who should look after your children, which may not reflect your wishes or what’s best for your kids.

    To learn more about this, check out our article “Why Should Every Parent Have a Will”.

  • Financial Planning

    Having a Will can also provide financial benefits. You can structure your estate to minimise the tax burden on your assets, potentially saving your loved ones from unnecessary expenses. Additionally, you can make provisions for charitable donations or specific requests you’d like to fulfil with your assets.

  • Clarity and Conflict Avoidance

    A Will provides clarity on how you want your assets distributed after your passing, minimising confusion and potential conflicts among family members. Without a Will, disagreements can arise about who should inherit what, causing unnecessary stress and strain on your loved ones during an already difficult time.

By creating a Will, you ensure that your final wishes are respected and your loved ones are taken care of according to your intentions.

When Should I Change My Will?

So you finally got around to making your Will - good for you! It’s an important document that ensures your wishes are carried out when the time comes.

But what happens if something in your life changes and you need to make amendments?

Updating or changing a Will is a crucial task that should never be overlooked, especially after experiencing major life events. These events have the potential to significantly impact your estate planning and can greatly affect the distribution of your assets after your passing.

Not to worry, we have simplified things for you:

5 Major Life Events to Consider Changing Your Will

🤵👰Life Event #1

Marriage: Saying ‘I Do’

Marriage marks the beginning of a new chapter, filled with love, laughter, and shared dreams. From saying ‘I do’ to planning a future together, tying the knot is a significant life event. But amidst the romance and celebration, it’s essential to consider the legal implications, especially when it comes to estate planning.

”Do you know that getting married automatically revokes your previous Will?”

This means that your existing estate plan may no longer reflect your current wishes. It’s crucial to create a new Will to include your new spouse and any other changes in your circumstances. By revisiting your estate plan, you ensure that your assets are distributed according to your updated wishes, safeguarding your loved ones’ financial future as you embark on this exciting journey together.

🧑🍼Life Event #2

Having Children: Welcoming the little ones

Becoming a parent is a game-changer filled with excitement and new adventures. From their first steps to their big dreams, your little ones bring a whole new meaning to life. But along with the cute baby giggles come some serious responsibilities. It’s not just about diapers and bedtime stories anymore; it’s about planning for their future. Whether it’s setting up education funds or appointing testamentary guardians in your Will, having kids means thinking ahead and making sure they’re always taken care of, no matter what life throws their way.

✝️🙏Life Event #3

Death of a loved one: Saying Goodbye

When someone you’ve designated in your Will, be it the executor or a beneficiary passes away, it’s a clear signal for a reassessment. Whether it’s your spouse, child, or another cherished individual, their absence prompts a need to reevaluate your plans. Updating your Will promptly ensures that your estate will be distributed by someone you trust and your assets are directed to new beneficiaries as you desire, maintaining the integrity of your wishes and ensuring a smooth transition for your estate. It’s about honouring their memory while also ensuring your estate reflects your current circumstances and priorities.

🏠👪Life Event #4

Purchasing your home: Making a house a home

Buying a home is more than just a transaction; it’s about turning a space into your sanctuary. Whether you’re dipping into your CPF savings or securing a bank loan, purchasing a home is a significant financial milestone. As you embark on this journey, it’s essential to integrate your home ownership plans into your estate planning. Understand how owning property fits into your financial goals and long-term plans. By factoring your new home into your estate plan, you ensure your assets are managed according to your wishes.

💔👏Life Event #5

Divorce: Moving on solo

Divorce marks a significant transition, think of it as embarking on a solo adventure. As you navigate this new chapter, it’s crucial to reassess your estate plan. Unlike marriage, divorce does not automatically revoke your Will.It’s essential to review it to align with your current circumstances. Think of it as decluttering your estate, ensuring that your assets reflect your newfound independence. So, take the reins, revisit your Will, and make sure it tells the story of your solo journey ahead.

Remember, life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and it is prudent to keep your Will updated to ensure your final wishes are carried out as intended. By regularly revisiting and updating your Will after significant life events, you can have peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of. Consider making use of a reputable online will-making service, like WillCraft, to streamline the process and ensure your wishes are properly documented.

How do I Change or Revoke my Will?

Writing a Will can provide a sense of relief and security, knowing that your final wishes will be carried out just the way you want them to be. But what if your circumstances change (like the major life events that we mentioned above) or you simply change your mind? Is it possible to change or revoke a Will that has already been written? The good news is, yes, it is! And it’s not difficult at all.

One important thing to know is that a Will is not set in stone from the moment you write it. Life is unpredictable, and our circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. That’s why it’s essential to have the ability to modify or even nullify your Will if needed.

There are a few different ways to go about making changes to your Will.

  • Creating a New Will

    The simplest approach is to create a new Will altogether. By drafting a fresh document, you can make any updates or amendments that reflect your current wishes. Remember, it’s important to ensure that this new Will clearly revokes any previous versions to avoid confusion or conflicts down the line.

  • Add a Codicil

    Another way to modify your Will is by attaching a legal document called a ‘Codicil’.

    A Codicil is essentially a legal amendment to your existing Will. It allows you to make small changes without having to rewrite the entire document.

    For example,

    If you want to add a new beneficiary or update a specific gift, a Codicil can come in handy.


    If you wish to change the executor of your Will. If your original executor is no longer able to fulfil their duties or if you’ve decided to appoint someone else, you can use a Codicil to update this information without rewriting your entire Will.

    However, keep in mind that using a Codicil can not only make things more complicated, it also carries the risk of accidentally cancelling out previous provisions. Another disadvantage is that it restricts the types of changes you can make, which can lead to mistakes and create extra administrative work. If you make numerous Codicils over time, it may become confusing and raise questions about your intentions.

    So it’s best to keep things clear and concise. It is normally recommended to create a new Will.

  • Revoke Your Previous Will

    Sometimes, revoking a Will may be necessary. Revocation means cancelling or invalidating the entire Will, essentially rendering it void.

    There are a few ways you can go about doing this:

  1. Firstly, you can create a new Will that explicitly states the previous Will is revoked.
  2. Secondly, you can physically destroy the Will, either by tearing it up or burning it, or whichever way you are in the mood for.
  3. Finally, if you get married or enter into a civil partnership, it’s worth noting that your Will may be automatically revoked unless it was specifically made in contemplation of the marriage or partnership.

It’s essential to ensure that any changes or revocations to your Will are done legally to avoid any potential disputes or legal complications. Seeking professional help, such as consulting with a lawyer (recommended if you have a larger estate), or a Will writing service like WillCraft, can provide you with guidance and peace of mind throughout the process.


To sum up, it is encouraged for your Will to be updated and changed to accommodate changing circumstances such as major life events or simply just for personal preferences. Whether you decide to create a new Will, a Codicil, or completely revoke the existing Will, it’s crucial to ensure that the process is done in a legally valid manner.

With our user-friendly online platform at WillCraft, you can easily change your Will to align with your current circumstances and preferences. It’s easy to use, convenient, and our interface guides you through the entire process, step by step. Opt for our lawyer review and witnessing service to ensure your Will is legally valid and accurately reflects your wishes. Gain peace of mind with our team’s professional assistance.

Take the proactive step today to secure your fate, enabling you to navigate major life events with confidence while safeguarding your loved ones’ futures.

Visit WillCraft now to begin crafting your Will with ease and peace of mind.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When should I change or make a new Will?

You should consider changing your Will whenever there is a change in your personal or financial circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, birth of children or grandchildren, death of beneficiaries or executors, acquisition or sale of significant assets, or changes in your wishes regarding asset distribution.

How do I change the executor of Will after death?

You cannot change the executor of a Will after the death of the testator. The executor’s role is to carry out the wishes of the deceased as specified in the Will. However, if the named executor is unable or unwilling to act, such as incompetence or misconduct, the alternate executor named in the Will, if any, would assume the role. If there is no alternate executor, the court may appoint a suitable person as the executor.

Will getting married automatically revoke my existing Will?

Yes, getting married automatically revokes an existing Will. This means that your current Will may no longer be valid after marriage. It’s crucial to review and update your Will promptly after getting married to ensure it accurately reflects your current wishes and circumstances.

How does divorce affect my existing Will?

Divorce may impact the provisions in your Will that involve your former spouse. Especially if you’ve named your former spouse as a beneficiary or executor. Unlike a marriage, a divorce does not revoke a Will, so your former spouse would still be the beneficiary or executor. Therefore, it is crucial to review your entire Will after a divorce to ensure that it aligns with your current wishes and circumstances. This includes updating beneficiary designations, appointing new executors or trustees, and revising any provisions affected by the divorce.

Should I update my Will after the death of a loved one?

The death of a loved one may impact your Will if they were named as a beneficiary or executor. It’s advisable to review and update your Will after the death of a loved one to ensure it reflects your current wishes and accounts for any changes in your circumstances or relationships.

Can a Will be changed without my executor knowing?

Modifying your Will is entirely within your rights and doesn’t require informing your executor. However, if you’ve previously mentioned your Will’s existence to your executor, it’s considerate to inform them of any changes. While it’s not obligatory, notifying your loved ones or executor about the existence of your Will helps prevent conflicts in the future.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for general guidance and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a lawyer to seek legal advice that is specific to your needs.
Published on , and updated at .