As people continue to live longer in a more health conscious society, the more changes that occur within our lifetimes. With this in mind, many people whose loved ones have recently died often find that the Will left by the deceased is out-dated, which leads to a series of complications and extra stress at a time of immense personal grief.
As our lives are subject to major changes, Saga Legal explain to us that it is considerably important that you review your Will on a regular basis, and it is generally recommended that you do so every five years. Here are some of the life changes that may necessitate changes to your Will:
In England and Wales, the law states that a previous Will document will be revoked in the event of a marriage or civil partnership, so there is no need to worry about whether your spouse will be looked after by your estate in the event of your death.
However, since your entire estate – if worth less than £250,000 – will automatically go to your spouse in the event of this revocation of a previous Will, it is advisable that a new Will be drawn up in order to include any children or grandchildren that you wish to be included.
If you divorce and have not remarried, it would be advisable that you make changes to reflect this in the likely event that you do not wish for your ex-wife or ex-husband to benefit for your estate, either in financial terms or in terms of certain legal rights that you have attributed to them prior to the end of the marriage.
The arrival of children or grandchildren
If you have had children or grandchildren since you last drafted your Will, it would pay to review the document to make sure that these new beneficiaries are included, so that they are financially secure in the event of your death and that your possessions are distributed fairly. You may also name a guardian in the event of your and/or your partner’s death, so that your children are cared for in the manner that you wish.
Changes in Assets
If your estate has been subject to a change in value by the purchase or sale of assets, such as a property or a business, as well as insurance policies and pension plans since last making your Will, it would be helpful to adapt your Will to reflect these changes.
Writing and reviewing your will
Just as if you die intestate (without making a Will) this could cause significant problems for your loved ones in the event of your death, so can an out-dated Will that references people that are no longer part of your life and assets that you no longer own also do so. The absence of new people and assets in your life can cause similar problems.