The importance of Will reviews and updates
It makes good sense to register a will early in your adult life. Without wishing to seem too foreboding, you never know what might happen tomorrow. If you should have an accident or develop a life-threatening disease or illness, it is sensible to be prepared and make sure that your estate and any finances get bequeathed to the right people.
If you do already have a will in place, however, that isn’t the end of the matter. Circumstances change all the time, so it is a good idea to keep your will updated to take account of any variations that could have an impact on the beneficiaries.
The significance of regular Will reviews
Wills that have remained unchanged for long periods of time are still legal documents. But, if over the years there have been any significant changes that could affect how the will is executed, it might open the door for others, who feel that they have been overlooked or forgotten, to contest matters.
The best way to avoid this, and to make sure that any appropriate updates are made to your will, is to review your will from time to time. Will reviews themselves do nothing to alter the contents of the will. They are done simply to highlight any significant changes in things that could warrant certain actions being taken.
Will reviews cost nothing
It is of course hugely important to use a professional advisor in these matters in order to ensure that any changes that have taken place are fully considered in terms of whether or not they might impact on the will.
Will reviews are something that we offer here at Michael Usher Wills and Estate Planning. Best of all, this is a free service.
The effects of marriage on a pre-existing Will
There are some types of life events that can invalidate a will altogether. Take marriage for example. If you marry after you have made a will, any will already in existence will be invalidated. So, if you a newly married, it’s a good time to update your will.
The effects of divorce on an existing Will
At the other end of the spectrum, if you get divorced, you will want to consider how this affects your ex. Divorce in itself is not an event that that invalidates wills that existed before your parting was legally finalised. However, your ex will be treated as though he or she had expired before you. In other words, he/she would not be entitled to any benefits from your will.
Some divorces are quite acrimonious while others are relatively friendly. Whichever applies to you (if any of course) it should be a trigger for a will review.
How separations affect existing Wills
Separations are treated differently again. Because you are legally still married, that is how the law will treat both parties. It means that your partner would still inherit as per any will’s instructions. However, a will review could trigger an update.
The arrival of children and grandchildren
As well as being a time of great joy, the arrival of children or grandchildren should also make you want to consider updating your will. It is undoubtedly an event that should trigger a will review as you may want to appoint guardians for example.
Some people choose their solicitors to act as executors of their wills; some choose their banks, and others nominate someone else entirely – usually a trusted family member or members. Friendships, loyalties and death can change relationships as you go through life. These changes can also signal the time being ripe for a will review and update.
If you would like to discuss any aspects of will review or you would like to schedule a free of charge review, please contact us here at Michael Usher Wills and Estate Planning Frimley, Camberley Surrey.
We have a free no obligation Thought Pad for you to download. Its just 3 simple pages that will help you to clarify your thoughts when you come to writing a Will or reviewing your existing Will Click here