Preparing a new will often stays at the bottom of a long list of ‘things to do’. Clients regularly tell us that preparing a new will turned out to be less difficult and time-consuming than expected. It is always clear to see the relief and peace of mind on our clients’ faces when they finally tick it off their list.
That’s the main task done for now but it is important not to forget to keep your will updated if you get married or your circumstances change.
After a will has been properly executed, and the matter of storage has been discussed and agreed upon, we explain to our Clients that we recommend reviewing your new will at least every three to five years; or after any major change in circumstances. This can include a change in finances or assets. The change in circumstances can also refer to getting, married, separated, divorced or being widowed.
When you get married your existing will becomes invalid.
It is extremely important to remember that when you are married your existing will becomes invalid. Therefore, if you have provisions that are important to you that do not include your new husband, wife or civil partner, these will be ignored in favour of your new spouse or civil partner. For example, if your existing will leaves your car to your sister but you don’t update it once you have married, your new husband, wife or civil partner will inherit the car. However, the terms of a valid will take precedence over any marriage or civil partnership. Preparing a new will or updating your will can ensure that a new partner or family are properly looked after, even if you are still married or in a civil partnership with an ex-partner.
On the other hand, it is just as important to know that if you are separated, estranged or divorced: your will remains valid. Therefore, if you wish to ensure your assets or estate are not gifted according to the terms of your will (where your direct assets be gifted to your spouse or civil partner) or even the laws of intestacy (if you are still married); you should prepare a new will. This can ensure your property is given as you wish following your death, rather than to your ex-partner.
What if you have a previous mirror will with a partner?
If you have previously created mirror Wills with a partner, it is not usually necessary to inform them or request their permission if you wish to make changes to your own will. However, if you wish to seek clarification please speak with our expert wills and probate team members for more specific advice and information.
Do you want reassurance that your wishes will be followed?
Need peace of mind that your future is taken care of?
Speak to a member of our trusted and experienced team today. Call: 01625 526 222 for a free 30-minute consultation.
Jobeth Copping-Barrett, Solicitor & Head of the Private Client Department
Jobeth is passionate about helping people through emotionally difficult times. She prides herself on being compassionate, supportive and open with all her clients.