Your Will is an important document, and it should be reviewed after any major life event or change in circumstances to ensure that it still reflects your wishes.
Some life events revoke a will meaning it is no longer valid.
If you pass away without a Will your loved ones will have to rely on the ‘law of Intestacy’ which is a one size fits all law and often will not reflect your intentions.
Marriage revokes any previous Wills unless there is a clause expressly stating otherwise. If you are married and have children, passing away without making a new Will means your Spouse will only be entitled to your personal belongings, the first £270,000 of your estate and only half of what’s left. The remaining half will go to your surviving children. This is often not what people want as they assume that everything will go to their spouse.
If you are separated but still married the law still sees you as legally married, and with no Will or no updated Will your spouse will inherit in the way outline above, regardless of the fact you have now separated.
Unlike marriage, when you get a divorce, your Will still remains valid but your ex-spouse will be treated as having died before you therefore they will not be entitled to any benefit. For the avoidance of doubt it is best to renew your will after a divorce and review your wishes as there is a significant risk of a complication in your Will depending on how it was written at the time.
New Children or Grand-Children
If you intend to leave any assets to your children and grandchildren, you should consider appointing guardians for your children should the worse happen. Having new grandchildren is a good time to review your Will and you can consider including something for them.
Buying or selling a property
When buying a property it is a good time to review your Will to ensure your wishes are reflected. If you are an unmarried couple holding property together, it is important to ensure your will reflects your wishes as the way you hold property at the land registry may mean that your partner inherits your property outright despite any agreement between you to the contrary.
For more information contact Newnham & Jordan Solicitors today on 01202 877 400 to review your estate planning.
- We offer confidential appointments in person or by Zoom.
- You are also welcome to email us at: privateclient@Newnham-Jordan.co.uk.
This article is intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. Newnham & Jordan Solicitors, in Wimborne Dorset, cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.