Wills and Estates

Updating Your Will


Our lives are shaped by what happens to us along the way. Your point of view at age 30 can be quite different than at 60. It is important to review your will from time to time to make sure it still reflects your wishes and your situation.

Your will must reflect your current wishes.

How often should you review your will? Every year? Every five years? Every 10 years?

You should review your will whenever there is a major change in your personal situation. This could be the birth of a child, marriage, separation, divorce, illness, death or a new relationship

Laws can change.

You should also meet with a legal professional every three to five years to talk about whether your will has been affected by changes to the law. For example, since 1994, you cannot agree that your executor will not make an inventory of your property, even if you say so in your will. Therefore, you should review your will on a regular basis. You should also review your protection mandate (formerly “mandate for incapacity”) at the same time.

Ask yourself these questions.

Ask yourself these questions when reviewing your will:

  • Have you changed your mind about who will receive your property after you die?
  • Are you still satisfied with how your property will be divided?
  • Has the list of everything you own changed?
  • Are you still satisfied with the person you named as your liquidator (the person who will settle your estate)?
  • Are you still satisfied with the person you chose to be responsible for your children?

By asking yourself these questions, you will know whether it’s time to change your will or to cancel it.

If you don’t remember the name of the notary who prepared your will, you can do a will search in person at the Registre des dispositions testamentaires et des mandats du Québec (register of wills and mandates). You can also ask a notary in your region to do this for you. You must show two pieces of photo ID and pay a fee.