- Any time your financial situation changes significantly.
- When your family situation changes.
- Every 5 years irrespective of personal circumstances.
The first thing to be aware of is that there is no expiration date on a Will. If a Will has been validly made 10, 15, 30 or 50 years ago, it is still valid, unless it has been replaced or revoked at a later date. The safest way to change a Will is to make a new one and destroy the old one. Remember that Probate courts generally do not accept copies of a Will. They only accept the original Will signed and dated and of course legally witnessed.
It is certainly wise to update or replace your Will on a regular basis and especially when your circumstances change. It is also important to review your Will periodically, maybe every five years, in case inheritance or tax laws change (as they do) or other changes take place in your life, that may be overlooked.
It is important to change your Will as and when your circumstances change, for example:
- When getting married or entering a civil partnership. If you are getting married and have children from a previous relationship and you wish to make sure your children are provided for, it is vital to update your Will, if you fail to do so, your new spouse will automatically inherit much if not all of your estate when you die and your children may be left out.
- When getting separated or divorced.
- When setting up home with a partner you are not married to, bearing in mind that your partner will not automatically inherit your estate.
- When starting a new business or entering a business partnership and investing money into property or assets for that purpose. Your wishes need to be set out clearly legally and, in your will, to avoid business complications and to ensure provision for your loved ones.
- If you invest in property with friends or family outside your immediate circle, your will should make clear your shared ownership of such property and to whom you wish to leave it.
- If and when you have children and/or grandchildren
- If your spouse, civil partner or partner die.
- If a member of your family, e.g. an adult child unexpectedly becomes widowed or falls on hard times, you may wish to adjust your Will in order to provide more fully for them. Likewise, if they were to suffer an illness/accident that rendered them incapacitated or vulnerable.
- If you should inherit or win or by some means come into a large sum of money, you may wish to adjust your will.
So, as you can see there are many reasons for reviewing your will. It is important to reiterate that if you make a new will it is a probably a good idea to destroy the old one to make sure that when you die there is no confusion. Also advise the executor/s accordingly as to the change and where the will is to be stored. If you would like to discuss any of these matters or your personal situation further, we will be happy to help you without obligation.
Call Confidence Wills now for a free consultation on 0121 202 4714, or visit us as www.confidencewills.co.uk