A will isn’t something you can set up and forget. This month, Kerry Green highlights the importance of keeping it up to date…
I made a will ten years ago and haven’t looked at it since. Will it still be relevant?
This rather depends on what your will says and whether life has changed much for you in the last decade.
Wills do need some care and attention to remain current and regular updates are the only way to guarantee your estate will be managed properly when you’re gone.
We recommend reviewing your will every five years, or sooner if a momentous event happens – births, marriages and deaths being the main ones. Only by ensuring your will reflects changes to your circumstances and those of your beneficiaries or executors, can you make sure your hard-earned assets pass to the right people when the time comes.
Here are some of the most common reasons for updating your will:
1. If you marry or enter a civil partnership after your most recent will was drawn up, it will be automatically revoked, unless you included a clause referencing subsequent marriage.
2. Most people appoint their spouse as main beneficiary and executor/trustee. If you divorce or annul a civil partnership, your ex-partner will be prevented from administering or benefiting from your estate.
3. Your children may have become adults since your will was made. They will no longer require guardians and could be suitable executors.
4. If you or anyone mentioned in your will changes their name, it is important to let your solicitor know. Likewise, if an executor or beneficiary dies or becomes unable to act, your will needs amending.
5. If you have bequeathed a specific property, which you subsequently sell or give away, you should remove it from your will.
6. The laws relating to inheritance tax change regularly and it is important you continue to achieve your tax objectives and maximise exemptions and reliefs.
A will is one of the most significant legal documents you will ever sign. For continued peace of mind, be sure to review yours regularly.
To find out more about making or updating a will, why not book a free 30-minute consultation with one of our probate specialists? Telephone (0114) 218 4000, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete this form.