Updating your Will – Why, When and How?


We often make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, read more books or even take up a new sport. Perhaps not a popular resolution but an important one is to review or updating your Will to protect your loved ones and your wishes for them.

Once you have gone to the effort of signing your Will, it is understandable for you to think that this is something that will stand the test of time. It is however really important to make sure that your Will is up to date. You may be surprised to know that there are many different life events that can affect your Will – even making it invalid without you perhaps realising.

A wedding requires plenty of planning in the lead up to your special day but something that many people may not foresee is that your Wills are automatically revoked by your marriage. This has an instant effect and is irrespective of whether you believe that the terms of your Wills would remain the same after marriage so putting in place new Wills should be top on any newlywed’s priority list (not as exciting as the honeymoon we realise!)

Sadly recent events have taught us that we can face many unexpected hurdles in our lifetime. If one of your beneficiaries or executors sadly passes away, you may need to look at updating your Will to consider who you are going to appoint in their place or who should receive their share of your estate. It is a common misconception that if a beneficiary dies, their share of your estate would be determined according to their Will. If a beneficiary has died before you, it will depend upon the terms of your Will as to where their share of your estate passes. This may lead to conflict within the family at an already difficult and emotional time so it is really important to review your Will in these circumstances.

Another example is if you are going through divorce proceedings but have not yet received your Decree Absolute. At this stage of your divorce, your Will is still interpreted as if you are still married. As you can imagine, this could lead to some potentially unwanted results so it is important to update your Will as soon as possible and not simply wait until the end.

Regardless of these events, it is essential to review your Will every 5-10 years to take into account any changes that may have occurred. You may have moved house, inherited money or simply had a change in circumstances which could affect how your Will is interpreted without you knowing.

Gardner Leader’s Inheritance Protection Team are here to help you review and look at updating your Will and let you know whether any changes need to be made. We can offer telephone call and video call meetings to help you from the comfort of your home so please do get in touch and we would be delighted to assist you. For more information, please contact Hannah Wallbridge by emailing Hannah or by calling her on +44 (0)1635 01635 508147.

Hannah Wallbridge

Senior Associate
Inheritance Protection

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