Peter Lee (Wills and Estate Planning) Limited

Warning: Is it time to make a new Will?

WARNING : Is it time to make a new Will?

It’s great that you made a Will some time ago, but there are various “triggers” or events which make it desirable, and sometimes ESSENTIAL that you revisit the subject and possible make a new Will.

In order to be concise I list below those “triggers” or events which I suggest lead to a need to consider whether you need to make a new Will

Your spouse, civil partner dies

Consider the impact upon your Will and if this event is not addressed in it. Consider also the Inheritance Tax consequences upon your estate and other gifts.

You plan to marry or register a civil partnership

Unless your existing Will was made in contemplation of the marriage or civil partnership,
consider making a new Will as your marriage/partnership will revoke your Will leaving the Intestacy rules to govern the distribution of your estate following your death.

You are in the process of separation from your spouse or civil partner

Separation, without any court order, has no impact upon your Will so if any gifts contained within your Will are no longer appropriate, consider making a new Will. Consider also the Inheritance Tax consequences upon your estate and other gifts.

You are divorced or about to become divorced

A pending divorce probably means that your sentiments to your spouse are not the same as they were when you made the Will. If that is the case you need to consider making a new Will.
Your divorce does not revoke your Will but it does mean that your spouse will not be able to benefit under the Will or act as an executor. Consider also the Inheritance Tax consequences upon your estate and other gifts.

Children’s circumstances change

In any case of separation or divorce or other change in circumstances, consider whether or not the provisions you have made for your children in your Will remain appropriate.

Your financial circumstances change (for better or worse)

Do the terms of your Will remain appropriate? Is Inheritance Tax now a feature of your considerations.

Changes in relationships with friends or relatives

Relationships change over time and if the appointment of certain persons as your executors is no longer appropriate

You made a gift of something you no longer own

Such a gift may just lapse but there could be complications. Consider the effect and take advice if unclear.

You have acquired an overseas apartment or have similar or other assets overseas

Generally it is very desirable to have a Will which governs the distribution of your assets in that foreign jurisdiction made in that jurisdiction leaving your UK Will to deal with your other assets.
Always take advice about making a Will overseas from advisers who are either based in the jurisdiction or are specialists in the law of that jurisdiction.

Your existing Will is just out of date

Ordinarily, a Will has no life or term but you may have made it a long time ago or your circumstances have changed so radically that a refresh is called for. An old Will could be a bad Will.
On the other hand it could still be exactly what you want.

Undertaking any of these reviews may provide some surprises but actions taken to address them should go a long way to providing peace of mind.

Peter

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