04/10/2016

When was the last time that you looked at your Will? Chances are that you may have even forgotten what is in it.

Some people think that once they draft a Will, they are finished with it and it can be placed into storage to collect dust.

A good rule of thumb is to review your Will at least every 5 years and after any major change in your life. This is to ensure that it is still current and reflects your wishes for passing your estate after your death.

Let’s explore some examples:-

Has your marital status changed?

  • Marriage, remarriage and civil partnerships revoke a Will meaning your Will is invalid.
  • Divorce, surprisingly, does not revoke your Will. Your former spouse is treated as having “died” on the date of the divorce and their gift and capacity to act as executor will fail. It is essential you always take advice concerning your estate in the event of divorce.

Have your living arrangements changed?

  • Couples who cohabit and are not married cannot inherit from each other unless there is a Will naming the partner as a beneficiary.

Are there any new additions to your family?

  • Following the birth of a child, it is advisable to appoint guardians to look after any child under 18 years
  • Additional children and grandchildren born after your Will was made might not be provided for

Have your children now reached adulthood?

  • Your children may no longer need guardians or have their inheritance left in trust. You may now wish for your children to be appointed as executors and trustees.

Now, take a moment to consider what life events have taken place over the last 5 years…… It might be time to dust off your Will and update.

These are just some of the reasons why you should review your Will to see if it needs updating. If you would like some further advice on any of the issues raised, please contact Sarah Mellor at Beswicks Legal on 01782 205000 or sarah.mellor@beswicks.com