How often should I review my Will?
Whilst we always try to draft Wills that are as ‘future-proof’ as possible, we suggest reviewing or at least reading through your Will every three to five years.
That being said we always recommend you review your Will when one of the following major changes in circumstances takes place:
There are new children or grandchildren (by birth, adoption or step children/grandchildren)
- Look to see if they are treated the same way as others – do not assume this will be the case. Step children for example are not recognised by the Rules of Intestacy and so they have no automatic right to inherit. If you would like them to inherit from your estate you need to express this in your Will
- Do you need to appoint guardians to look after any children if you die while they are under 18 years old?
There is a change in relationships
- Do you need to provide for a new partner?
- Have you got married since your Will was drafted?
- Marriage automatically cancels a will, unless special wording is included stating that it is made with marriage to a specific person in mind and that you do not want it to be cancelled by your marriage.
- Have you got divorced or separated since your Will was drafted?
- Once the decree absolute is granted, a former spouse will not benefit under your Will however, until that point, he or she can still benefit.
There is a change in a beneficiary’s or executor’s circumstances
- Check who you have named as your executors: Are they still alive? Are they capable of acting? Are you still in touch? Are they still willing to act? It may be that you need to replace them.
- Have you had a ‘Falling out’ with a beneficiary which means that you no longer wish to include them in your Will?
- Has a beneficiary died? If so you will need to consider who should now receive their share.
- Is a beneficiary now vulnerable or unable to manage large amounts of money? If so you should consider whether leaving their share in a trust is more appropriate
Changes in your assets or circumstances
- Do you no longer own an asset stated in the Will? You should consider removing any reference altogether or leaving an alternative asset.
- Has the size of your estate changes significantly, both up or down? If so you should consider whether your Will needs to be amended to reflect this.
- Have you entered into business either by yourself or with a business partner? Have you considered the position on your death?
- Have you recently retired? Retirement is also good time to revisit and reconsider your Will.
Certain changes, such as a change of address, do not require your Will to be altered, but it is helpful to keep a note of these changes with the Will for future reference.
If, upon review you wish to make any changes to your Will, contact Clodes today on 02920 765050