When you first made the smart choice of arranging a Will, you likely were concerned about all your affairs being in order. Your Will then reflected your circumstances at that time, and you likely enjoyed some peace of mind in knowing that you had settled your affairs. On the other hand, as time goes on, circumstances can change. Relationships will alter, as will financial circumstances; as such, what held to be true when you first made out your Will might be very different now.
If any of these following questions are ones you can answer ‘yes’ to, then it’s time to review your Will.
Since you first made out your Will:
- Have you gotten married?
- Have you separated or divorced from your partner?
- Have you gotten widowed?
- Have there been any changes in personal or family relationships?
- Have any of your listed Executors or beneficiaries moved away or died?
- Do you now either have children or just more children than you did previously?
- Have you had young children grow up?
- Have any adult children of yours gotten married?
- Do you have grandchildren now?
- Have you acquired any further property inside the country or property abroad?
- Have you made an overseas Will in another nation in order to cover your assets abroad?
- Have you inherited any legacy which significantly increased your estate value?
- Have you had an increase in property value?
- Have you bought, sold, or started a business?
- Have you actually sold your own property in order to move into some kind of residential care?
These are but a few examples. Keep in mind that there can be many other changes that might have occurred in your circumstances that might result from changes to your Will being necessary.
I think updating my Will might be necessary; what should I do?
First of all, we have to ascertain whether any change in your situation means that alterations to your Will prove necessary. You might wonder ‘how much does probate cost?’, but we provide free initial consultations where we can talk to you about your new situation, as well as your current Will, in order to see if you should make an appointment for one of our professional specialists. Once we know the changes necessary to your Will, we’re then able to offer you guidance about the involved costs, should updates be necessary.
How can I make changes to my Will?
Amending your Will can happen in one of two ways. The first is a Codicil, which is a legal document stating any variations to the original Will, which also has to be witnessed and signed the very same way your first Will was. The Codicil then gets stored with your original Will. A Codicil doesn’t always prove appropriate to particular situations, so our specialist will talk to you about this in-depth before you proceed. It should also be noted that since a Codicil gets stored along your original Will, both of their contents eventually get seen, which might not be something that you desire.
Making a whole New Will is the other way of making changes. We have an information guide titled ‘Making A Will’ which details what our standard service includes and covers. We’re also able to offer numerous other services, including Estate Planning, reducing Inheritance Tax, using Trusts, and any claims put up against your estate, for instance. We’ll happily discuss any extra fees involved with these services at your appointment.
People who are mentioned in my Will have new addresses – is it time to make out a new Will?
You don’t have to make a new Will if these are the only alterations you have to make. In some cases, changes can be quite simple, like amendments for the beneficiary addresses or even other named parties in your Will. In such a case, when your Will gets held with us, the only thing we ask is that the changes are confirmed in writing, signed, and dated when sent to us so that we’re able to store this with your Will. We don’t charge for this particular service.