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VIC Bequest in Will Made to Niece - Affected by Her Surname Change?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by caseyf, 25 January 2015.

  1. caseyf

    caseyf Member

    25 January 2015
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    I have left a bequest to a niece in my will, who has since married, and following tradition, has taken her husband's surname. Does that mean that I should remake the will to ensure that she still gets that bequest??
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    16 July 2014
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    Hi Caseyf,

    You should see your lawyer and ask if this is necessary. If so, all you need to do is "amend" the will, not make a completely new one. if the will is already executed, then you will need to amend through a "codicil document". This is a document that is executed in the same way as a will, but it refers to the main will, it reaffirms everything written in the main will except to the extent that the will is inconsistent with the codicil (i.e. the new amendments). In the amendment, you can then add "[your niece's former name], also known as [your niece's current name]". However, if you have clearly identified your niece in the original will (e.g. included her date of birth, her address, her ID number/birth certificate number) then an amendment of her name should not be necessary. The whole point is to be able to clearly identify the person without ambiguity. If the person is already clearly identified through other means in the will, then at distribution, the executor/court will try to give effect to the intention of the will maker (you) notwithstanding any slight hiccups in the will.
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