5 reasons to update your Will | Davis Blank Furniss Solicitors
Karen Yates

So, question: When did you make your Will? The 80’s? 90’s? 00’s?

Clients are often surprised to find that their Wills are older than they realise. Time passes so quickly that before we know it our circumstances have changed and our Wills are out of date.

For example, it’s common to appoint your siblings as your executors when your children are young but, as time moves on, and those people are the same age as you or older, they may not be the right person anymore.  It may now be appropriate for your adult children to be your executors, particularly if they are the ones to benefit from your Estate.

Births, deaths and marriages are the key triggers for a review. You would be surprised at the number of people who have come to see me to because they have remarried, without realising that the marriage has revoked their existing Wills and that they are currently without a valid Will in place. I saw some clients recently who had married 20 years ago and hadn’t made new Wills and had thought for the last 20 years that their existing Wills were still effective.  They were shocked when I explained to them that when they married they had cancelled their old Wills.

You may have given sizeable cash gifts under your Will, but if your Estate has decreased, those gifts may no longer be appropriate.  Similarly, you may have made a specific gift of an item or a property to somebody that has increased in value significantly and that gift may now be disproportionate in relation to the rest of your Estate.

And what about common law spouses? This is something we talk about all the time as there is no such thing.  If you cohabit, you are not legally recognised as a couple under the law relating to Wills.  Therefore, if you do not make provision for your partner, he or she will not automatically benefit from your Estate.

But it is not just changes in personal circumstances that should prompt you to review your Will. The law changes all the time, and issues that would not have been considered 20 years ago are now very much at the forefront of peoples’ minds.  For example, you may not have had a business when you made your Will, and your Will may not provide proper tax mitigation or succession provisions for your business.

So here they are, my top five reasons to update your Will:

  1. After a birth.  Once you have a child or a new grandchild it is important to ensure they are properly provided for under your Will.
  2. Marriage/divorce.  Wills made prior to marriage are automatically cancelled upon that marriage.  Similarly, if you are divorcing or have divorced, your Will may provide for your ex-spouse and will need to be updated.
  3. Moving house or buying a house.  You may have thought previously that you didn’t have anything to leave so there was no reason to have a Will.  A property is a major asset and if you have life insurance that would pay off your mortgage in the event of your death, that is a significant asset that needs to be dealt with properly.
  4. After a death. If someone you named as a beneficiary under your Will has died, you should review your Will as it may need to be updated to remove their name or to ensure that the assets pass to their children if appropriate. Similarly, if your executor has passed away, it is extremely important that your Will is updated to ensure that you have an executor specified.
  5. Change in financial circumstances.  If the value of your Estate increase or decreases, if you start a business or sell a business you will need to revise your Will to ensure it is up to date and as tax efficient as possible.

To sum up, reviewing your Will regularly provides peace of mind and ensures that your wishes will be properly reflected in the event of your death.

Rest assured, this can be done remotely in the current climate, and do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss how we can help. You can email me via karen.yates@dbf-law.co.uk or call me on 0161 832 3304.

 

Testimonials

Read what our clients have to say...

View All

Excellent experience start to finish – always very responsive to any queries and the turnaround on the property I was buying was very quick, even in the busy time leading up to stamp duty deadline. Jenny was always very helpful and went above and beyond to close on a short timescale.

Ben Armitage

“Very approachable, practical solutions to problems, but most of all very responsive which I personally think is very important because if you need help, you need it quickly, or at least to know someone is looking at it for you”.

Joanne Rowe, Finance Director, Greater Manchester Chamber

“Always able to contact, very approachable, friendly and professional”

Nives Feely, JAM Recruitment

“I believe I have been able to establish a professional working relationship with everyone I have come into contact. Importantly, I sense the relationships which have been established give me the confidence that I can make contact with Davis Blank Furniss at any time and on any matter. I would also like to express my thanks to the very impressive “gatekeepers” who work in reception, not only for making me very welcome, but also for their professionalism”

Bill Pryke, CEO, Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

“Thank you for your efficient and friendly help throughout this process. We have had it easy but your approach has been part of that”.

Robert Amsbury (Conveyancing Client)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for the ongoing support and assistance the firm has offered to our parents over the years. I hope also that we may be able to call on you if necessary in the future.”

Valerie Fisher (Probate Client)

“Jo always provides great service, understands our needs and delivers on her promises. Our needs are relatively simple but the complexity arises out of the volume of work and short time frames, Jo always delivers.”

Peter Fernandez, Corporate Director at Royal Bank of Scotland

“A big thank you to all who dealt with my wife’s claim… We would not hesitate to recommend Davis Blank Furniss to anyone that may be in a situation like we have been…”

Anon (Personal Injury client)

“Before putting my case in Kirsty (Morbey)’s capable hands I’ve met a couple of other solicitors. None of them listen to me as intently as Kirsty and showed me as much empathy and understanding as she did. Simultaneously she was able to look at my case from legal perspective, explain all the options and follow each of our meetings with written summary of the discussed matters (in timely manner). Her advice was invaluable and led me to successfully ending the case matter (hopeful for good). I’m forever grateful for he work and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for reliable, knowledgeable and committed solicitor”.

Anon (Family client)
5 star service

Our Manchester office is rated 5 stars on Google