8 life events that should prompt you to update your Will

Older male hand signing business document, senior man putting signature on legal paper making invest

You should regularly review your Will to ensure it still meets your requirements. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Everyone reaches big milestones in their life, but many may not know to change their Will as a result.

Wills are important documents, drawn up to ensure your wishes are met after you pass away. The first step is to make one if you haven’t already.

But, for those ahead of the game, it’s crucial that you regularly review your Will to make sure it still meets your requirements.

Nicola Richardson, Will writer at Richardson’s Wills, shares eight times in your life when you should revisit and consider changing your Will:

Closeup of groom placing a wedding ring on the brides hand. Couple exchanging wedding rings during

Entering into a civil partnership or marriage would result in your current Will being revoked. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

1) Getting married or entering a civil partnership

Once married or in a civil partnership, your existing Will is revoked – it becomes redundant and will no longer be considered. If you remarry, this can result in your children from a former relationship losing their inheritance if a new Will isn’t made. You can write a Will in anticipation of marriage, making it exempt from being revoked once you tie the knot. If not, it is vital that you make a new Will to reflect both your former and present wishes.

2) Divorce or separation

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Upon divorce, any gift intended for a former spouse on your Will is revoked. You may wish to check your Will to ensure you have appointed the right executors and your beneficiaries are up to date.

If you separate, your current Will wouldn’t automatically change and would still stand. It might be a good idea to consider what you own that may have been shared between you and your ex-partner to ensure assets, life insurance policies, pensions etc. pay out to your intended beneficiaries.

3) Co-habitation

Without a Will, partners that cohabit are vulnerable as they are not afforded the same considerations as married couples or those in civil partnerships. Make sure to create or amend your Will when moving in together to protect both yourself and your partner.

4) Birth of a child

Once you have a baby, you need to update your Will to make sure your child is provided for and that you have appointed trustees to manage their savings until they are of a responsible age. You must make sure that you have named guardians to take on parental responsibility for your child should the need arise. If you become a grandparent to a new child, this may also warrant a new Will.

Happy young husband lifting excited wife celebrating moving day with cardboard boxes, proud overjoye

Review your Will after purchasing property to ensure it gets inherited by the right people and that your partner is protected from homelessness should you pass away. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

5) Purchase of property

As a valuable asset, owning property should prompt you to change your Will to ensure that it passes to the people you intend to benefit, and, if buying a home, that your partner is protected from homelessness.

6) Starting a business

You may wish to appoint separate executors to your Will that will have the responsibility of tying up your business affairs. Your Will should also extend extra powers to your chosen executors to ensure the business can continue trading and be wound up or sold if needed.

7) Major changes to the size of your estate (e.g. through inheritance)

With a larger estate, you may need to consider inheritance tax liabilities. Or, you may like to update your Will to make gifts to more family members, friends, or charities.

8) Diagnosis of a serious medical condition

This is the time to take a protective approach. For example, if your husband has suffered a stroke and is being cared for by you, and you were to die first, he would need care support. If you have a simple mirror Will, you would leave everything to your husband which could then pay for his care fees. If you and your husband changed the way you owned your home and became tenants in common, leaving a life interest in your Will, then your share would be protected for the eventual beneficiaries.

Failing to revisit your Will following a diagnosis of a condition that could result in the death of yourself, your partner, a beneficiary, executor etc. could result in your wishes not being met.

It is also wise to check that the executors, trustees and guardians listed on your Will are still the right people and that they are still willing and able to act for you.

Will writing service

We can conduct a free review of your existing Will to ensure it meets your needs, and can also assist you to draft your Will if you haven’t already. Our services are available via phone, video chat, or home visit if necessary and in line with government guidelines.

Visit www.richardsonswills.co.uk for more information.

Contact them on 01275 851056 or nicola@richardsonswills.co.uk.  

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