Wills and Estates

Updating Your Will


Our lives Our lives change as we age. How you see things at age 60 can be quite different from how you saw them when you were 30. It is important to review your will from time to time to make sure it still reflects your wishes and your situation.

Your will should reflect your current wishes.

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

It is wise to review your will whenever there is a major change in your personal or family situation. This could be, for example, the birth of a child or grandchild, marriage, separation, divorce, illness, a death in the family or a new relationship.

Laws can change.

It’s also a good idea to 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, exempt the liquidator of your estate from making 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, if you have one, 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 (also sometimes called the executor, that is, 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 any notary to do this for you. You must show two pieces of photo ID and pay a fee.