January 15th 2024
When should I renew my Will?
It’s a good idea to renew your Will every 5 years and after reaching certain milestones in your life. Creating a Will is really important because it ensures that your wishes are respected after you die. However, it's equally important to recognise that life changes and your priorities do too. This can impact the relevance of your Will.
To maintain the accuracy and relevance of your Will, it's advisable to review it every five years. This routine check allows you to assess any changes in your life, financial situation, or personal relationships, ensuring that your Will aligns with your current wishes.
Here are a few instances when you may decide that changing or renewing your current Will is a good plan:
Getting married: Getting married invalidates any previous Will, making it essential to create a new one that includes your spouse and any children from a previous relationship for instance.
Getting a divorce: Finalising a divorce alters the dynamics of your relationships. While your ex-spouse is treated as having pre-deceased you, updating your Will is crucial to address substitute provisions like guardianship and maintenance.
Getting a separation: If you are separated but not divorced, the law may still treat you as legally married upon death. Updating your Will ensures that your wishes align with your current circumstances. You may not want your partner to inherit from you or you may want to clarify who will receive certain assets.
Children or grandchildren: Welcoming new additions to the family should prompt a Will review. Specify bequests (gifts) or legal guardianship arrangements to reflect your wishes.
Property changes: Changes in your property portfolio, such as buying a new house or acquiring a second home, require updates to your Will to avoid tax issues and ensure accurate distribution.
Death of a named individual: If someone named in your Will passes away, you will need to understand how their death affects any gifts or inheritance and who would be the new beneficiary.
Change of executor circumstances: If your chosen executor becomes unsuitable or unable to fulfil their role, or dies, appointing a replacement is crucial. A lack of clarity on estate administration can lead to complications and delays.
Moving country: If you move country, you may need to make a new Will in your new country of residence.
Buying and selling assets: If you buy new valuable assets such as jewellery or collectable cars for instance, you may want to change your Will to outline who will inherit these assets. Equally, if you sell any assets, these will not be applicable in your Will.
Making changes to your Will
After a Will has been signed and witnessed, you cannot directly amend it. Instead, you can create an official alteration known as a Codicil, which must be signed and witnessed like a Will. For major changes, creating a completely new Will is recommended, explicitly stating that it revokes all previous Wills and Codicils. Destroy your old Will by burning or tearing it up to avoid confusion.
How can GloverPriest help?
At GloverPriest, we provide friendly and transparent legal advice. If you would like further advice on a Will, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of our expert lawyers today. Complete our enquiry form.
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