How long has it been since you created your will? How have things changed?
When faced with an important task to complete we’re often anxious until it’s done. When it’s done, we feel an immediate wave of relief, and before long it is forgotten about.
This is often the case with wills.
But, don’t forget about it for too long!
There are many of life’s events – both happy and sad, life changing or seemingly minor – that may mean you need to update your will.
We’ve compiled a list of reasons why now is the right time to update your will:
1. I do!
Congratulations on your marriage. Your wedding day is going to be up there as one of the happiest days of your life, one of the most memorable!
But… did you know your will is automatically revoked when you get married? You need to update your will after marriage for it to be valid.
2. The pitter patter of tiny feet
A new addition to your family is no doubt life changing. A new family member will have you wanting to ensure they are looked after if you were to pass away.
Either by appointing a guardian or ensuring your child receives a share in your estate, you need to include them in your will.
3. Divorce and remarriage
If your marital status changes, it’s likely you need to remove your ex-partner from your will. And just like a first marriage, your will is automatically revoked if you remarry.
It’s crucial you review your will at this time to ensure your assets are given to the people whom you intend to receive them.
4. Falling out with the Executor/Beneficiary
Is there someone mentioned in your will that you no longer want included?
Do you still trust your executor to respect your wishes when you are no longer around to check on them yourself?
5. Your children are all grown up
No longer do those tiny humans need a guardian, they probably have babies of their own. Now is the time to remove the appointed guardian and any age restrictions for receiving their share on your estate.
You may even prefer to appoint them as your Executor.
6. Loans to Beneficiaries
Wanting to help family is a natural instinct. Sometimes arrangements are made where money is loaned as part of an early inheritance. You may have helped a child with the deposit on their first home, or helped them out of some financial trouble.
This needs to be mentioned in your will so other beneficiaries don’t suffer a shortfall.
7. Changes in assets
If you’ve sold an asset that was being specifically gifted to someone in your will, you need to amend it. The same is applicable for the purchase of an asset that you’d like to gift to a specific person.
Your will should reflect your wishes.
8. Death of a loved one
Many of us will decide that our spouse will receive the entirety of our estate, but what happens if that person passes away before you?
You will need to update your will in such event.
9. Loss of capacity of loved ones
Just as we have no control of the fate of our own lives, the same is very real for the people mentioned in your will. If your existing Executor loses capacity, you need to appoint an alternate executor.
If a named beneficiary loses capacity, your will needs to show clear instructions to ensure their gift is managed appropriately.
10. You’ve had a will for a long time.
Your will should be reviewed every 3 years. We lose loved ones, we divorce, we welcome new family members, we lose and make friends, we gain assets, we lose assets.
If your circumstances have changed since you last updated your will, you may want to go through your will to ensure it is still current. Contact our office to speak to one of our solicitors today.