Checking your Will is important and good practice, it’s essential to ensure that all your wishes are adhered to. Unfortunately, a Will isn’t usually a document that you can do only once and forget about. Unless you have zero changes in your circumstances, you will need to update your Will.
Our lives and the lives of those that we love can change rapidly, and decisions that you made a couple of years ago may now not represent your wishes. Significant financial and life events can dramatically alter our choices which is why updating your Will is a necessary part of keeping your affairs in order.
Possibly the most important thing to consider is the life event that actually revokes (invalidates) your Will.
If you marry or enter a civil partnership, any existing Wills would be revoked as you enter your new life as a couple. As this is the case, your estate Will now follow the Rules of Intestacy. This could potentially mean that any children from your previous relationships or other family members are potentially disinherited.
Unlike a marriage, divorce does not automatically invalidate a Will. Therefore, your previous partner may actually still be the main beneficiary of your estate after you have separated. Or, it may be that you wish for them to still inherit part of your estate, but the divorce can prevent that being the case.
If you have a child after you have already written a Will, there will now be more things to consider. You may potentially need to amend the appointment of guardians, trustees and the distribution of your estate.
Even if you have other children named in your Will, it would be worth reviewing. Your new child may not automatically become a beneficiary or be covered by the guardians you have appointed.
It’s not just the birth of your own children to consider, but also the birth of grandchildren. Again, even if existing grandchildren are covered in your Will this may not be the case for your new family addition.
The death of one of your beneficiaries or guardians are potential reasons to make amendments to your Will.
You may want to update your Will if you have inherited something since writing your original Will. It may be that you now have a much larger estate, additional property or more sentimental gifts which you would like writing into your Will.
A significant change in finances can be another reason to check over your Will. Be it that you want to add more beneficiaries, make more generous charity donations or be in a better position for IHT, a change in finances is a common reason to update your Will.
Although we offer our client’s a free yearly review to ensure that their Wills are up to date, it would be prudent to check them over if any of these life-altering events happen beforehand.
Any update in the above circumstances does not necessarily mean that a new Will is needed. Our advisors are always on hand to answer any questions and support you accordingly on 0800 0884670.
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