There are various important reasons to update your will:
1. Life Changes: Major life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children, or the death of a beneficiary or executor may necessitate changes to your will.
2. Changes in Assets: If your financial situation changes significantly, whether through inheritance, increased wealth, or the acquisition of new assets, you may want to adjust your will to reflect these changes.
3. Changing Wishes re your Beneficiaries: If you wish to modify who receives your assets or how they are distributed, you should update your will to reflect your current preferences. Your relationships to your beneficiaries may become closer or more distant over time, thus changing your priorities in your will.
4. Changes to Executors or Guardians: If your chosen executor or guardian is no longer willing or able to fulfill their role, or if you wish to appoint someone else, you should update your will.
5. Relocation: If you move to a different country, the laws governing wills and estates may change, so you should update your will to comply with local laws. It is usually good practice to have a will in each jurisdiction in which you own a property.
6. Tax Laws: Changes in tax laws can affect the financial implications of your will. Regularly reviewing your will can help optimise its tax-efficiency. Unfortunately, not all changes to a will to make it more tax-efficient can be made after death by a deed of variation, and so it is important to address this during your lifetime.
7. Changes in Personal Relationships: Estrangement from or reconciliation with family members or beneficiaries can affect your wishes, and your will should reflect your current relationships.
8. Personal Preferences: As your values and priorities evolve throughout your life, you may want to change any charitable donations or other provisions in your will.
9. Business Interests: If you own a business, changes in its structure or ownership may require updates to your will.
10. Review and Maintenance: Even if your circumstances haven’t significantly changed, it’s good practice to review your will periodically to ensure that it still accurately represents your wishes. As a rule of thumb, and in the absence of any major changes of circumstances, I would recommend reading through your Will every 3-5 years to check that it still reflects your wishes.
Regularly updating your will ensures that it remains a legally valid and up-to-date reflection of your wishes, which can help prevent disputes and ensure your assets are distributed according to your intentions.
Chiltern Wills is a Will writing business based in Beaconsfield and run by former London solicitor, Rebecca D’Arcy. Call us on 01494 708688 or email email@example.com for a free initial chat about how we can help with your Will or Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Rebecca D’Arcy of Chiltern Wills will be glad to help you update your Will.