Time your will had a health check?
16 March 2016
Sometimes, having an old will is as inappropriate as having no will at all. At Myers & Co Solicitors, we recommend you review your will at least every four to five years, or sooner if the personal or financial circumstances of you or your beneficiaries change.
Anyone who has made a homemade or DIY will is particularly advised to have it reviewed by a specialist wills and probate solicitor as it may not reflect your intentions or achieve your desired outcome.
Recent changes to the intestacy laws and new rules on inheritance tax allowances could also mean that the terms of your current will could be improved upon, and provide you with more a favourable tax position.
There are a number of health checks you can carry out yourself:
- Is your name and address still the same?
- Has your marital status changed since you made your will?
- Are the names and addresses of your executors and trustees up to date?
- Have you had children since you made your will?
- If you have left any specific gifts of your personal effects, have you sold any of them or already given them away?
- Have you included everyone you would like to as a beneficiary?
- If you are not including all of your children, do you have a statement or ‘letter of wishes’ accompanying your will explaining why you have left your estate in the way you have and your connection to your chosen beneficiaries?
- Have you included substitutionary clauses to cover if any of your beneficiaries die before you?
- Is your will correctly signed and witnessed?
- Where is your will stored? If it is at home, is it stored in something fire proof? Or, perhaps you store your will at your previous solicitors or the bank. If so, are you paying and annual fee for that storage? Please bear in mind that Myers & Co do not charge for storing wills.
With so much to think about, it may be time to give your will a thorough health check. To make sure there is no doubt about the validity or content of your will, make an appointment to update your will with one of our specialist wills and probate solicitors as soon as you can.
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.