Reviewing your Will
Samantha Pullen, Solicitor in Graham & Rosen's Wills and Probate Team, discusses the importance of keeping your Will up to date.
Reviewing Your Will
Whilst preparing a Will in the first instance is essential, regularly reviewing it is equally important. There are many factors which can affect your Will, varying from a change in your family circumstances to a change in the law.
We recommend that you review your existing Will at least every 4 to 5 years or more frequently if a major change occurs in your life or in the life of one of your beneficiaries.
Significant events in your life such as marriage and divorce can legally change the effect of your Will as can the death of a beneficiary, the birth of a child or grandchild, entering into retirement or receiving a large sum of money such as an inheritance. Any of these factors could mean that when you die, the wishes contained in your Will no longer reflect your current wishes.
If for example, you have married since you made your last Will, this would mean that in most cases, your Will would be revoked in its entirety and if you were to die before making a new Will, you would be deemed to have died intestate. If you and your spouse or one of the beneficiaries named in your Will are divorced, this could also impact upon the effect of your Will.
In addition, if a beneficiary of your Will dies during your lifetime, you should consider what you would like to happen to your assets which would otherwise have passed to them. It may be that you would like those assets to pass to a certain person in substitution but without your Will expressly stating this, it may not happen.
Changes to the law might influence the provisions in your Will and the way in which it is drafted. The Government has recently announced a change to the way they are intending to deal with Inheritance Tax in relation to your family home effective from April 2017. It is intended to introduce a Residence Nil Rate Band which, provided that your Will is drafted effectively, could increase the Nil Rate Band available to your estate on your or your spouse’s death and could mean that any Inheritance Tax payable is reduced.
If you would like to consider how any changes to your family situation or recent change to the Residence Nil Rate band will affect your Will, please do not hesitate to contact our Cottingham Office on 01482 840201 or our Hull Office on 01482 323123 to arrange an appointment to discuss your Will.