Below, Stephen Sampson, our new Head of Private Client Services, discusses why it is important to review and update your Will.
Stephen is an expert in Will preparation, with over 13 years of experience, backed by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Advanced Certificate in Will Preparation.
The Importance Of Updating Your Will
We all know that a Will is essential, something that every adult should have, especially homeowners. Sadly, less than half of the adult population has made a Will.
However, just making a Will is not enough. It is also very important that your Will is kept up to date, particularly as disputes about Wills are on the rise.
An out-of-date Will can provoke family conflicts, increase the Inheritance Tax payable, and delay the administration of your estate.
The questions to ask yourself are:
- When did I last review and update my Will?
- Does it still reflect my wishes?
How Often Should You Update Your Will?
Your Will should be reviewed at least every three years and updated whenever your circumstances change.
The main reasons for updating your Will are changes in your family and changes to your estate.
On the birth of a child or grandchild, your Will should be reviewed to make sure the new addition to the family is included in the Will.
If one of your beneficiaries is getting divorced, we will discuss the likely outcomes if you were to pass away before the divorce is final.
Unfortunately, if your own relationship has broken down then immediate action is required to make a new Will. If you die before the decree absolute or final court order has been made to end the relationship, then your spouse or civil partner will still inherit if named in your Will.
Updating A Will When Your Estate Value Changes
Your Will also needs to be reviewed if your estate increases or decreases significantly in value. One of the major issues to be considered is the way that your Will divides your estate.
Let us suppose that your current Will leaves your home to your family and your savings to charities. If you needed care in a nursing home for a prolonged period, it is still likely that your property will be sold. At that point, you no longer own a property to leave to your family.
Instead, the charities will inherit everything, but your family will inherit nothing. We can update your Will to prevent this situation from ever arising.
Why Choose Monan Gozzett To Update Your Will?
Our Private Client Department has extensive experience of creating and updating Wills for a wide range of people, covering the simplest to the most complex estates.
If you have already prepared a Will with another firm, we are more than happy to review that with you to check if it still meets your needs.
If you do need a new Will, we will use our expertise to create a Will that is tailored to your own needs and circumstances, including specialised trusts where appropriate.
In certain circumstances, it may be possible to prepare a Codicil to supplement your Will, rather than writing a whole new Will. However, we do not recommend a Codicil where you are reducing a person’s inheritance.
When the Probate Registry issues a Grant of Probate, the Will and any Codicil become public documents. Anyone can download a copy of each document for a fee of £1.50. There can be a devastating effect on family relationships if someone can see that they were originally due to receive a larger share in the Will, but their inheritance was reduced by the Codicil.
If your Will is overdue a review, or if you do not have a Will, please contact us today to book an appointment.