Keeping Your Will Up to Date

by Legal Author on June 12, 2020

Many people don’t make a Will, which can cause a wide range of problems for their loved ones when they die. Of those that do, many fail to keep it up to date. While you might think that any Will is better than no Will, out of date or inaccurate information can be hugely problematic. In some cases, this can mean that your Will is invalid, and your estate will be distributed as if you’d made no Will at all. So, what can you do to ensure that your Will is up to date and relevant? Here are some things to think about.

When will I need to update my Will?

If you get married

Getting married revokes any pre-existing Will. The exception is if your Will states explicitly that it is written in contemplation of marriage.

If your circumstances change

While your Will might still be valid, changes in your personal circumstances can mean that updating your Will is recommended. The most obvious is a change in your marital status. If you get married (as mentioned above), divorced, widowed or separated, you should write a new Will.

If you have children, you’ll want to put provisions in place to ensure they are cared for if you are no longer around. If your children are now grown up, it might be appropriate to update your Will to ensure assets are passed on to them. Similarly, if your children get married or have children of their own, reviewing your Will is advised.

If there have been significant changes to your financial circumstances, reviewing your Will is essential. This might be because your house or other property has increased in value, or because you have inherited a substantial sum yourself.

When other people’s circumstances change

A number of important people will be mentioned in your Will. This includes your executor, guardians for your children and beneficiaries. But if their circumstances change, they might no longer be best placed to carry out their role. For example, if someone appointed as a guardian for your children moves overseas, should a change be made?

How can I make changes to my Will?

Use a codicil

A codicil is a document that follows the same signing requirements as a Will, which means that it must be signed in the presence of two witnesses. The codicil will also usually refer to the original Will. The main issue with using codicils is that they can be confusing, especially if multiple codicils are used over several years to indicate many different changes.

Prepare a new Will

This is the best way to ensure that your updated Will is clear and valid. Having a new Will drafted offers you the chance to review the document as a whole and state your wishes accurately. Your solicitor will go over each section with you to make sure that everything is up to date and you are completely happy before signing.

Aubrey Isaacson is a full-service law firm providing exceptional legal advice to clients across Manchester and beyond for over 35 years and can help you make a will today.

Legal Author

Legal Author

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