Charity will campaign Will Aid has highlighted the importance of keeping your will up-to-date to reflect any changes in personal circumstances.
It recently conducted a study, which found that more than 46% of people who made a will five years ago have had a change in circumstances that might affect how they want their estate to be distributed. These changes included becoming a parent, grandparent, losing a partner, getting divorced or separated, inheriting assets or getting married.
Failing to update a will following a change in circumstances could lead to unexpected and unwanted outcomes, as demonstrated in a case referred to by Will Aid.
This case concerned the estate of Norman Martin, who died in 2012 leaving his £320,000 house to his long-estranged wife, Norma Martin instead of to Joy Williams, his partner of 18 years.
He had failed to update his will following his split and Williams was forced into a long, stressful court battle, which fortunately she was eventually able to win.
Will Aid recommends that you should always review your Will to see if it needs updating when certain key changes take place, including:
- Changes to your family or loved ones, such as the birth of grandchildren, a divorce or a marriage, and the coming of age of children.
- Changes in assets, such as properties, businesses, or retirement plans.
- Changes to your location.
- Changes in estate and tax law so you can ensure that you are able to get the most out of your will.
- Changes in personal circumstances. You might want to include specific wishes on your funeral for example. Or perhaps you want to change the executor of your will to reflect changes in relationships.
For expert legal advice on writing or updating a will then contact our specialist will writing lawyers today.