Times When You Should Update Your Will
Updating your Will is an important task that people often put off. As time passes by and personal circumstances change, it is not uncommon for you to want to make amendments to your Will.
At the time of creating your Will, everything could have been correct, in place and how you wished things to be at that present time - however, things change, and you may need to update your Will.
If your current Will is no longer accurate or up to date, then you can get in touch with us today and we can guide you through the updating process.
Why do people update their Will? And how often should you update your Will? Read on to learn more about times when you should update your Will.
When Is the Right Time to Create a Will?
There is no right time to create a Will - and it is never too soon to create one either. You do not have to reach a certain age before you can start organising your future after your passing, as life is not guaranteed, and anything can happen to anyone at any age.
That being said, the legal minimum age for creating a Will is 18 years old. This is due to it being the legal age that the law in the UK begins to treat a young person as an adult. However, this minimum age for creating a Will has an exception if someone is in the military.
It is not common to create a Will at around the age of 18 however, and most people leave making a Will until they are much older. Some reasons that people wish to create a Will can include when people buy a home, start up a business, get married or go through a divorce or when people have children.
Why Update Your Will?
It is important to update your Will if your current wishes have changed, because if you die without having updated it, everything you own may not go where you wish it to go.
Your money, possessions and all your assets will be allocated to your previous wishes, which may be outdated at the time of your passing.
Take control of your estate whilst you can so you can rest easy knowing that everything will go where it is intended.
What Life Factors Could Affect Your Wishes?
There will be times in your life when things change (e.g divorce or new children), which could result in you changing your wishes for your Will and your estate.
Life factors that affect a person financially will usually cause them to change their Will. Factors such as:
- Buying a house - the purchase of any property represents a significant change in the value of someone's estate.
- New children or grandchildren in your life - you will probably want to include them in your Will. You should update your Will as soon as possible after the birth of your child.
- Getting married - marriage cancels any previous Will you have made before, which means you will have to have it amended.
- Divorce or separation - this is a good time to make changes to your previous Will as your wishes will probably have changed. Unlike marriage, when you get divorced your previous Will does not become invalid, you must make the changes yourself.
- Moving house - possible money made from equity, you may want to make changes because of this.
- An executor named in your Will dies or they may not be suitable as the executor for you as time goes by.
- Someone named in your Will dies before you - if this happens you’ll want to review the gift you intended to leave them.
How Often Should You Update Your Will?
It is recommended that even without any of the previously mentioned significant life changes or events, to review your Will every five years. This ensures your wishes are reflected correctly. It is also a good idea to check for any recent changes to the law that may affect your Will.
How to Go About Making Changes to Your Will?
To make changes to your Will, you have to make an official alteration called a codicil. A codicil must be signed and witnessed in the same way as you would have done for the original Will, although you don’t need to have the same witnesses.
There are no limits to how many codicils you can add to a Will, but the more changes you make, the more difficult it may be to interpret your Will after your death.
Sometimes, to avoid confusion it is best to just create a brand new Will. A codicil is an older way of doing things, from before the times of computers. It would save having to write the Will out again. Nowadays, that is not an issue - so making a brand new Will can be more beneficial to you and for your loved ones when your time comes.
Making a Brand New Will
For lots of significant changes to your circumstances, it is recommended that you create a new Will - instead of using codicils.
Writing a new Will is easier to administer when you die. It is more efficient and easier to have just one document stating your wishes, that has not been altered in any way.
Do bear in mind that it is absolutely vital that you destroy your old will and copies of it to avoid any confusion after your death.
Bell Lamb & Joynson Can Help You
Our expert team of Wills and Probate solicitors can help you with advice and guidance with our expert services when it comes to your Will.
We know organising a Will can be difficult, which is why our specialist team will be as supportive as possible when you are planning your future.
Whether you need help creating a Will or if you wish to make amendments to an existing one, our friendly team will be there and we always have your best interests at heart.