Your will is not a document that is ‘set in stone’, this is due to many factors.
Throughout your life things will change which could influence your will, such as a change in your assets and property, your personal circumstances and, the loved ones around you that are your friends and family. Your will could also be challenged by people who are named (or not named) as beneficiaries, such as an estranged child. It could also be challenged if there are doubts over the validity of the will, this could mean the signature has been forged or the testator has been pressurised into making certain provisions. With these things in mind, it is important you use a respected solicitor or will writer to ensure a valid final will is prepared that can try to minimise any reasons that the will might be challenged.
Alternatively, the will terms could reflect ‘old’ wishes, as too few people update their will over time. Many people are under the impression that once they have created their will This could mean if the will was challenged and the will is applied as it is it may not be a true reflection of the deceased’s situation in the lead up to their death.
“Often clients to me who last prepared a will, over 20 years ago, when their children were young and the considerations included in the will, as well as their personal assets, were vastly different to what they are now. While the old will remains valid, it is no longer a true reflection of the wishes of the person whose will it is.”Jobeth Copping-Barrett, Head of Wills & Probate Team at Sinclair Law
This is why we recommend that you review your will at least every 3 years or when there has been a major life event or change in circumstances, such as a divorce. Reviewing your will is just as important as reviewing your insurance policies or investments. The review of your will can just be as simple as looking at the provisions you have made and ensuring that they are still relevant. Some of the major life events that should trigger you reviewing your will are things like a new baby, some inheritance, a new house.
When looking at planning for the future, there is one significant life event in particular that means you must make a new will: marriage. A new marriage revokes an existing will, this means that the situation could arise in which the person’s estate is dealt with under the rules of intestacy.
So don’t just make a will and forget about it. Keep it up to date!
For further advice about wills, probate or estate planning contact us on 01625 526 222 or complete the form to request a call back. Free 30-minute case review.