updating your will

7 reasons to make or update your Will

If a global pandemic hasn’t been enough to make you think about making a Will or updating an existing Will in recent months, then here are 7 reasons why it is important to stay in control and to make sure your final wishes are carried out to look after your loved ones, family members or to support your favourite charities in the future.

  1. 1. You have bought a house or moved house
    Buying a house is the largest financial commitment most people will make during their lifetime, so making sure those who live in it with you will still be able to if anything happens in the future is vital, especially if you are cohabiting with a partner and are not married or in a Civil Partnership and if you have children from this or other relationships.
  2. 2. Getting married, cohabiting with a new partner or entering a Civil Partnership
    Whilst the rules of intestacy cover those who are married or in a Civil Partnership there are no rights for those who are cohabiting. It is really important therefore if you are making the leap to live with someone that you are all protected for the future and understand your legal position.
  3. 3. Names and addresses of beneficiaries
    It can be a common mistake to make but it happens if someone in the family has the same name or if they have changed their name through marriage or for other reasons, or if they have moved-house and difficult to trace. Keeping all of your beneficiaries up to date means no one will be left out and or there will be no ambiguity about who you meant when you made a bequest.
  4. 4. Your residual estate
    Overtime people may acquire for example shares in a business, chattels (which could cover many possessions, vehicles, animals etc), pensions, Premium Bonds or digital assets with a value. Keeping a full list of everything up to date in your Will that has a value is really important as is who you would like to be the beneficiary of this.
  5. 5. Reviewing your Will in light of Inheritance Tax
    As the value of many homes has increased over the last few years, many people will find they are pushed into the banding where their estate is liable for some Inheritance Tax, currently standing at 40%. It is therefore important to review your Will to make sure you can benefit from any allowances available and leave as much of your estate as possible to your beneficiaries.
  6. 6. Having children
    It may seem obvious but if you have children this should be the main reason for making or reviewing a Will, to make sure they are provided for until they become adults. This includes appointing legal guardians for them to look after them and to protect their interests.
  7. 7. If your Will is more than 5 years old
    Although you may think nothing has changed, it is good practice to review your Will every five or so years to make sure and to take into account any changes to the law which may have come into force.

Here at Gullands we are happy to review and make new Wills for you.

Alex Astley is a partner and can be contacted at a.astley@gullands.com