When circumstances change, remember to change your Will

While it is easy to put it off, if you take a positive approach to reviewing your Will it means you can manage your legacy proactively as your circumstances change.

Reviewing your Will periodically ensures that it accurately reflects your wishes and any changes in your circumstances that impact your legacy.

It is not just your own circumstances that can change, you should also review your Will if there have been any significant life events, such as a marriage, divorce, birth, or death in the family that could impact your estate planning.

Regularly reviewing your Will can help prevent disputes and confusion among your heirs and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your latest wishes.

We recommend reviewing your Will every 3 to 5 years or after a significant life event within your family and to consult a qualified Will Writer such as Savigny to make any necessary updates or revisions.

Issues that should prompt a review of your Will?

There are several major issues that could prompt you to review and alter your Will, including:

1. Life changes: Significant life changes, such as marriage, divorce, birth, the adoption of a child, or the death of a loved one, may require changes to your Will to reflect your current wishes and circumstances.

2. Changes in assets: Changes in the value or type of assets you own, such as buying or selling property or investments, may require updates to your Will to ensure your assets are all accounted for and distributed as you intend.

3. Changes in tax laws: Changes in tax laws, the Inheritance Tax threshold for example, may impact your estate planning strategies and require revisions to your Will to ensure that your estate is distributed in the most tax-efficient manner.

4. Changes in beneficiaries: If you want to add or remove beneficiaries from your Will, for example if you have a new child or grandchild or wish to change the amount of assets they will receive, you will need to update your Will accordingly.

5. Changes in executors or trustees: If the person you appointed as executor or trustee is no longer able or willing to fulfil their duties, or if you want to appoint someone else, you will need to update your Will.

Minor changes to a Will are simple with a Codicil

Most minor changes to a Will can be accomplished simply with a codicil.

A codicil is a legal document that allows you to make minor changes to your will, such as updating the names of beneficiaries or changing the amount of assets they will receive. It must be executed in the same manner as your original Will, requiring witnesses but it means you do not have to go to the time and expense of completely rewriting your Will, and it is a legally binding document that becomes a part of your Will.

You can discover more by reading our article about condicils here.

For significant changes create a new Will

If the changes you want to make to your Will are more significant or numerous it may be more appropriate to create a new Will that reflects your updated wishes. Additionally, if your original Will is outdated or unclear, it may be better to create a new Will to avoid confusion or potential disputes among your heirs.

In all circumstances, provided you use the correct form of wording, any new Will you create supersedes your previous Will.

Always consult a Professional

Reviewing and changing your Will is relatively simple, but we understand why it is easy to delay until a later date. However, a professional Will Writer such as Savigny can take the worry and stress out of the process.

We can offer you advice and reassurance, help you work through the options and write a new Will or codicil to your existing Will, that ensures your wishes are up to date after a change of circumstance in your life or in the lives of your loved ones.

To discover more about reviewing your Will and for a caring, personal service please contact us today.

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