When should you review your Will?
Most solicitors recommend you review your Will every three to five years. However, there are many life-changing events that can occur within a much shorter period of time that will have a major impact on your Will and the decisions you have previously made.
Here are Clare Flemings 5 top life-changing events that you may wish to consider when making or updating your Will. (Clare is a Partner at Kidd Rapinet and has more than 15 years experience in private client work including Wills, inheritance tax planning and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
- Purchasing a Property
You should review and update your Will if you have purchased a property in your sole name or with another individual. This is because you will need to appoint executors to deal with your property and ensure your property passes to your loved ones.
It is especially important to review your Will if you are cohabiting as, in the absence of a Will, your property may not automatically pass to your partner. In such circumstances that individual may want to leave their property to their partner or at the very least give them a right to reside in the property.
- Getting Married or Entering into a Civil Partnership
When an individual gets married or enters into a civil partnership their Will is immediately revoked unless that Will is made in contemplation of marriage or civil partnership. Once the Will is revoked their estate will pass under the Intestacy Rules. It is possible that the distribution of your estate under the Intestacy Rules will not reflect your wishes or mitigate inheritance tax
- Going though a Relationship Breakdown
In the unfortunate event of a breakdown in a relationship you should review your Will – this is especially important if you do not want your estate to pass to your estranged partner.
Once a Decree Absolute has been granted at the end of a marriage or civil partnership your Will is not automatically revoked. Any reference to your former spouse is removed from your Will by law which means your old Will may not appoint a valid executor or beneficiary.
- Having Children
Following the birth of a new child you will undoubtedly want to make provision for your child/children in your Will by appointing trustees and naming your child/children as a beneficiary/ies.
Many individuals do not realise they can also appoint a guardian to care for their children in their Will.
- The Death of a Close Family Member
At a time of grief we often overlook our own Will which may appoint our loved one as an executor or name them as a beneficiary.
Your family member may also have bequeathed a share of their estate to you which could mean inheritance tax planning needs to be considered.
If you would like further information on any of the points discussed in this article or inheritance tax and Wills in general, please do not hesitate to contact Clare Fleming directly – you can access her profile and all contact details here.
Clare has also created an ‘8 Step Guide to creating a Will’ – if you don’t have a Will and would like information on would like to know more, please access the document here