It is not unusual for us to be asked: “I wrote my Will a few years ago, how often should I review it?”. We advise our clients review their Wills regularly to ensure they are still suitable. We would certainly advise that you review your Will carefully before and/or after significant events in your life, as such events could mean your Will requires updating.
The following are common reasons why you might want to review and update your Will:
– Getting married (marriage automatically cancels a Will, unless it specifically states that it should not be revoked on marriage and it names the person you marry). The law is the same for civil partnerships
– Getting divorced (the decree absolute automatically excludes your former spouse from your current Will, but a new Will would be specific to your current circumstances)
– Buying or selling property, or moving house
– Having (more) children or grandchildren
– Death of a person with a significant role in your Will (e.g. executor or a major beneficiary)
– Buying, selling or setting up a business
– Major changes to your financial situation (e.g. inheriting a large sum of money)
– Co-habiting with a new unmarried partner
– Wanting to exclude a person who might expect to inherit from you (e.g. a child or sibling)
– Concerns over your mental capacity: act now before capacity declines further!
– Change how your assets are to be divided up after your death
– Appoint new executors (e.g. a child who has now grown up)
Even without such events happening, it is useful to read through your Will every few years to ensure it still meets your needs.
Although Codicils can be used to make changes to existing Wills, we would always recommend that you write a new Will to ensure that all the changes you want to make are legally valid and absolutely clear. A poorly-drafted Codicil (or worse, a DIY Codicil) which conflicts with the Will, would likely cause uncertainty and could even lead to a legal dispute after death.
Even when working with existing clients to update their old Wills, at Lakes Wills we always approach the case as if it is new, to ensure that all issues are given proper consideration and that the new Will accurately reflects our client’s wishes.
Call 015395 87757 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment to discuss your Will or Lasting Powers of Attorney