Top 6 reasons to review your Will

Top 5 reasons to review your Will. Image is of a Last Will and Testament with a pen, glasses, and a lawyer's seal.

100% of our Philanthropy Survey respondents said they have a Will or other estate plan. But if it hasn’t been updated since 2016, you may need to have another look at your plans. Here are the top six reasons to review your Will.

Estate planning for legacy donors in Canada can be likened to regularly updating and fine-tuning the software on your smartphone. Just as technology evolves, tax laws and financial regulations change over time. To ensure your legacy intentions are met effectively, it’s crucial to keep your estate plan up-to-date and in alignment with the current legal and financial landscape.

The reason is simple: lives change. And with these changes, Wills must be adjusted to match. It’s not just standard legal advice – it’s essential for your peace of mind.

Life happens, and things change
Much like smartphone updates that enhance security, fix bugs, and add new features, periodic reviews and updates to your Will are a good idea. We’re not experts, and for the best advice, you should consult your lawyer or financial planner. But here are some advantages to regularly reviewing your Will, say, every five years:

  1. Optimize Tax Efficiency: Tax laws may change, and your existing Will might not take advantage of new tax-saving opportunities or exemptions.
  2. Reflect Changing Priorities: Your life circumstances, financial situation, and philanthropic priorities may evolve, making it necessary to adjust your legacy plans accordingly.
  3. Adapt to Family Changes: Births, deaths, marriages, divorces, or changes in relationships can impact how you want your assets distributed.
  4. Incorporate Charitable Goals: If you are a legacy donor, your charitable interests may shift or expand. Regular updates ensure your philanthropic goals remain current, and that your wishes are carried out the way you intend.
  5. Address Legal Updates: Updates may be needed to ensure your estate plan complies with the latest legal requirements and regulations.
  6. Prevent Confusion: Outdated or unclear estate plans can lead to disputes among beneficiaries. Regular updates help prevent misunderstandings or conflicts.

Significant changes introduced in 2016

In Canada, some of the most significant changes have been estate donation rules, and rules related to the taxation of graduated rate estates, that were introduced in 2016. These changes were among the most consequential to the taxation of estates and estate donations in recent memory. Your current Will might not hold good in light of these changes. If you haven’t reviewed your Will since 2016, it’s paramount to ask your lawyer and financial advisors about these rules’ implications on your existing Will and estate plan.

Avoiding unnecessary complications (and headaches)

Perhaps you’ve wondered, “Does updating my Will help me manage taxes better?” The answer is yes! Tax laws, including those for estates, evolve over time. By regularly reviewing and updating your Will, you can ensure alignment with the latest tax laws, potentially saving your loved ones a great deal in taxes – and headaches!

Just like your smartphone, regularly updating and fine-tuning your Will is a practical measure that ensures your estate will be managed according to your wishes and circumstances.

If you have already decided to name Broadmead Care in your Will (thank you!), please let us know how you’d like to direct your donation. You can reach us by email to, or call Mandy Parker, Vice President of Philanthropy and Communications, at (250) 658-3226, for a confidential conversation.

The information in this post is not legal or financial advice. Broadmead Care encourages donors to contact their professional advisors regarding estate planning or legacy gifts.