Even if you have a valid will you should consider keeping it updated, especially after any major changes in your life. It’s very easy to forget to change it after marrying, re-marrying, moving house, the death of your partner or a significant change in personal finances.
A survey by Saga in March of this year, showed that 34% of people aged over 50 said that their financial or family circumstances had changed significantly since they last updated their will. Another 34% said that they have never updated their will at all. This can have serious repercussions for the family to sort out after you pass away.
Could you update your will yourself? Heather Varley, an Associate in our Wills & Tax team says “This is not generally a good idea. Just like writing the original will, the law is very strict when it comes to making changes to it. These rules should be adhered to, to ensure that your wishes are represented accurately. If the updates are not put across in the correct way, your will may be invalid, which could mean that the courts could decide how your assets should be dealt with and your loved ones many not benefit in the way you would have wanted.”
Another issue is that gifts may end up becoming disproportionate if your circumstances change and your will is not updated. Here’s an example: Your will states that you wish to leave your property to your children and a small cash gift to charity. Years later, you decide to downsize your house but forget to update your will. It may end up that the children receive only the money from the sale of a smaller house, while the charity is given all of your savings.
If you have any questions about updating your will, please call 01202 499255 for a free initial chat, and Heather or a member of her team will be happy to discuss this with you.