Many people write their will and then forget about it, they don’t update it after major life or financial changes. Having an inaccurate will or a will that is not up to date could cause issues for your loved ones. But how often should I update my will? Even if you don’t have any major life changes, it is recommended to have your will reviewed or updated every five years.
There are certain life events that should prompt you to change your will, such as;
- Buying a property – After purchasing a property, it is generally a good time to review your will. You’ll need to make sure that your will still represents your wishes in the distribution of your assets. If you are unmarried but have a partner, you will need to include your partner in the will if you wish for them to have the property, otherwise, they will not be entitled to anything.
- If you have new children/grandchildren – If you have any new children or grandchildren after you have written a will, you will need to update you will in order to make sure they are included.
- If you get married – If you reside in England or Wales, getting married will cause your existing will to become void. You will have to seek legal advice from a solicitor in order to reinstate/update your will. The only way that can prevent your original will be revoked is if the will was made in contemplation of the marriage.
- If you are getting divorced – Unlike getting married, getting divorced will not invalidate your will. However, there are still changes that might happen. Generally, your ex-spouse will be treated as having deceased and therefore anything you did want to leave them would be null and void. If you plan to leave anything to your ex-spouse after divorcing you will need to update your will to be sure that they are still a beneficiary.
- If someone named in your will dies before you – Sometimes someone you have named in your will passes away before you. This will mean you need to update your will and amend certain parts. You will need to decide what will happen to the assets and gifts that you have left to the deceased beneficiary.
- If the chosen executor of the will is no longer suitable – When you create a will you will have to name an executor of the will who will carry out your wishes stated in the will and settle your affairs. Sometimes the named executor can die before you or you may no longer be able to trust them to carry out your wishes. This will mean you will need to amend your will and name a new executor. There can be major delays and fees that will arise if you do not have a suitable executor.
Any changes to your will should be carried out by legal experts. At Hill and Company, our team of legal experts provide a highly competent and tailored service to every client. We will be able to assist you with every update and guide you through the effective use of Inheritance Tax allowances and creation of trusts within wills to protect your assets for the future.
To find out more, book a free consultation with one of your professional will consultants.