Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Reasons why you might want to update your will

The good news is that more of us are likely to have a will – but if you haven’t got one you still know what you need to do – so this month we look at the top reasons that mean you would need to review your wills.
  1. THE CHILDREN HAVE GROWN UP – you may have made your will whilst your children were young, if you did you appointed Guardians and Executors who may not be the appropriate people to be involved now that your kids have grown up.
  2. YOU HAVE HAD MORE CHILDREN – Ensuring that all of your children are treated appropriately by your will is important. If the child is your first child then you will need to appoint guardians to look after them in the event of your death.
  3. YOU HAVE GOT MARRIED – Many people don’t realise that getting married automatically revokes a Will, so if you have tied the knot since you made your will you probably need to do it again.
  4. YOU HAVE GOT DIVORCED OR YOUR RELATIONSHIP HAS SPLIT – Whilst the law does make provisions for dealing with a former spouse within a Will, it is always better to make a new one. If you have split from a partner that you were not legally married to and have not updated your Will then things are potentially even worse as there is nothing to stop them from inheriting.
  5. YOUR FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE CHANGED – Let’s be positive, you may have won the lotto or have received an inheritance which could impact the tax planning in your will. On the other hand if your wealth has decreased you might need to review gifts and beneficiaries who you named in better times. 
  6. SOMEONE NAMED IN YOUR WILL HAS DIED – The loss of a loved one is a difficult time, but if that person was named in your will as an Executor or Beneficiary then you will need to update your Will. 
  7. SOMEONE NAMED IN YOUR WILL IS ILL - If your beneficiaries, executors or guardians become ill or lose capacity it is important that you review your Will, any gifts you might give could affect benefit or care packages. Your executors or guardians may not be able to act because of their incapacity. 
  8. YOU HAVE STARTED A NEW BUSINESS – Planning in your Will for what happens to your business can be very important, most businesses attract significant benefits when it comes to taxation and it is important that your Will reflects this.
  9. YOU HAVE ACQUIRED FOREIGN ASSETS - Assets overseas are likely to be treated differently to your UK assets when you die, your will may well need to reflect this.
  10. YOU HAVE MOVED – Whilst it is not the most compelling reason to review your will, the people who drafted it for you need to know where you are in case they need to contact you to advise about changes in legislation. If you have any property gifts or trusts in the Will we need to check the basis of ownership on the new property to ensure the gifts are still effective.

If you need to review your Wills, if one of the issues above affects you or if your documents are simply out of date call Will & Probate Services on 01778 382723 for a free opinion on what needs to change in your will. See our site for more

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