Creating a Will is crucial for anyone who wants to ensure that their estate and assets are distributed according to their wishes after their death. In addition, a Will can help prevent disputes among family members and provide peace of mind for the testator, knowing that their affairs are in order.
However, creating a Will is not a one-time task. Reviewing and updating your Will regularly is essential to ensure it still reflects your current wishes and circumstances. This article will discuss what a Will is and the most common reasons you should review your Will.
Why Make a Will?
A Will is a legal document you write to communicate what you would like to happen to your estate; this includes money, property, and personal possessions in the event of your death. Wills can also include essential details such as naming an executor and whom you wish to be your children’s guardian.
By making a Will, you can help ensure that your family and friends are cared for after your death. Dying without a Will can make it hard for your family to know your wishes. Also, planning can help avoid intestacy rules, minimise inheritance tax, and protect your dependents.
Reviewing Your Will
While writing a Will is important, it’s just as important to ensure that you review it regularly, ensuring it’s up to date and reflects your current wishes. Failing to do so could cause problems for your loved ones after your death. Here are some of the circumstances that should prompt updating your Will.
Changes in Personal Relationships
Changes in romantic and family relationships are one of the primary reasons to review your Will. Some significant life events that should require an update to your Will may include the following:
- The birth or adoption of a child
- The death of a family member
Changes in Your Executor or Beneficiaries
Your executor is responsible for administering your estate and distributing your assets according to your wishes. If your executor has passed away or can no longer fulfil their duties, you may need to update your Will and appoint a new executor. It’s also advisable to review your Will periodically to ensure that your executor is still the best person for the job.
Similarly, circumstances can change regarding beneficiaries. For example, you may need to update beneficiaries under the following circumstances.
- If a beneficiary dies, you must update your Will to reflect who should receive their share of your estate.
- If a beneficiary can’t properly handle large amounts of money, you may leave their share of your estate in a trust instead of leaving it directly to them.
- If a beneficiary no longer needs their share of your estate, they may wish to have their portion of your estate passed on to someone else, such as their children.
Changes in Finances
Another reason why you may need to review your Will is if your financial circumstances have changed significantly. For example, if you have come into a large sum of money, you may want to update your Will to include specific bequests or gifts to family members or charities. Alternatively, if you have sold a property or business, a Will revision is necessary to reflect these changes to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Changes in Tax Laws
UK tax laws are subject to frequent changes, and it’s essential to review your Will regularly to ensure it is still tax-efficient. For instance, if you have a large estate, you should update your Will to take advantage of any tax exemptions or reliefs available. Similarly, if there have been any changes to inheritance tax rules or capital gains tax, you should review your Will to ensure it is still in line with the current laws.
Finally, even if your circumstances have stayed the same, reviewing your Will every few years is still advisable. The passage of time can change your priorities, values, and relationships, and it is essential to ensure that your Will still reflects your wishes. Regularly reviewing your Will can also help you identify any errors or omissions that may have occurred since the last review and ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes.
Let Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors Help Keep Your Will Updated
Creating a Will is essential for anyone who wants to ensure that their estate is distributed according to their wishes after death. However, it is equally important to review your Will regularly to ensure that it still reflects your current wishes and circumstances. By reviewing your Will regularly, you can ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes and provide peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones.
Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors is here to help you make a Will and keep it updated to ensure that it reflects your current wishes. We will help you make a Will to protect and provide for your family and ensure you don’t pay unnecessary tax or care fees.
Contact us today for a consultation.