If you’ve finally got round to making a will, you can look forward to the many advantages that being prepared unlocks. Whilst no one likes dwelling on morbid subjects like death, having a will in place is a positive step towards providing for those you are closest to in life.
With a will, you can rest safe in the knowledge that your money, property and other assets will be passed onto exactly the right people. You can also make sure dependents are taken care of in accordance with your final wishes.
Whilst making a will is important for reaping these rewards and many more, having a will in place isn’t just a matter of stowing this important legal document somewhere safe and forgetting about it. As a live document, your will should be updated to ensure it reflects your circumstances, assets and liabilities appropriately and accurately.
As a rule of thumb, your will should be updated at least every five years or after any major change. Read on to discover why you should consider revisiting your will this year…
You’re getting married
Getting married changes the legal standing of your will considerably. Due to the rights of spouses in law, a will written before marriage is deemed invalid if it is not updated after marriage or specifically states your intention to get married.
This is not the case if you decide to divorce, even if your ex-husband, wife or civil partner is named as the executor of your will. Once the divorce has been finalised, they will be automatically removed from the role and any assets left to them will not be administered from your estate unless expressed otherwise.
You’re becoming a parent or grandparent
If there’s any event that changes life as you know it, it’s becoming a parent or grandparent. This is also a reason to schedule a will review. As well as including these new beneficiaries in your will to ensure your estate and individual assets are passed on correctly, your will can be used to stipulate guardianship of your dependents in the event of your death.
Your will should state who will care for your dependents – including biological children, stepchildren and foster children – until they reach the age of 18 should you pass away before this point.
The loss of a named beneficiary is another reason to review your will. The name of a lost loved one should be removed and assets redistributed as you see fit.
You’re selling up and moving house
As well as scheduling a will review to update the details of your residence, updating your will after a house move will ensure your assets and liabilities are up to date. Your will should reflect the details and value of your new property as well as acknowledge and amend any assets affected by the disposal of your previous property.
You’re starting or selling a business
Any change in circumstances that causes your wealth to increase or decrease considerably is a reason to update your will. Alongside personal property moves or inheritances, your professional standing and success should be mirrored by your will.
If you’re planning to start a business or sell your current company, stating any affected assets or liabilities is important.
Your relationships or priorities are changing
Relationships, priorities and interests change over time and your will should be written with your current situation in mind. Whether you’ve grown close to someone in particular, fallen out with a family member or friend, or begun supporting a charity you’re particularly passionate about, these circumstances are likely to alter those final wishes.
As Head of Wills, Probate and Trusts at Winn Solicitors, Rebecca Harbron Gray explains:
“Many people avoid writing a will and making plans for death for many years because they think it is a morbid or depressing process. But the truth is often that, once complete, people get a sense of comfort and relief from knowing that they have done all they can to protect and care for their nearest and dearest.
“At Winn Solicitors our team has decades of experience in this specialist field of law and we know how to make it simple and stress-free – no matter how complex your estate or family situation.”
Get help from experts in Will Writing Services today and don’t wait until it’s too late.