Over the past twelve months, more people have been asking, “when should I update my Will?” It’s important to remember that your Will should not be a static document. It should reflect your current circumstances, and as your life, relationships and wishes change, it needs to be updated. So, when should you update your Will? We have put together some life milestones that often serve as prompts.
1. Changes in your assets
Your assets are a key component of your Will, so you should consider making amendments when they change. Whether you’re buying a house, starting a business, purchasing a boat, or something else, you need to make allowances in your Will for your assets. You need to remember that you cannot leave what you don’t have. So, if you dispose of an asset, this could also be a timely reminder to change your Will.
2. Starting a family If you are starting a family, you need to consider your children in your Will. Choosing a guardian to care for your children in the event something unforeseen happens, is a complex and often overwhelming decision. It’s crucial to make this decision with your partner and talk it through, including with the guardian you are nominating. If your family grows, it’s worth reviewing your wishes to ensure they remain current.
3. Getting married or divorced
When relationships change, you should consider the impact on your Will. Whether you are getting married, separating, have recently divorced, or if your partner has passed away, these are all prompts to review and update your Will. Remember, if you have specific wishes when you pass away in terms of beneficiaries, you need to include this in your Will. If you pass away without a valid Will, the decision on how your estate is administered will no longer be your choice, and the rules of intestacy will apply. This means the law will decide what happens, and this is typically based on a legal formula underpinned by family relationships.
So, you’ve stopped working, and you’re enjoying retirement? Do you need to make amendments in your Will to reflect your change of circumstances? Whether it’s changes with your assets or formalising who will receive sentimental gifts, now is a good time to give renewed consideration to your estate planning.
5. Sickness or injury
While this is never the ideal time to update your Will, it is a common prompt to review your affairs and get your estate planning in order.
Do you need some help with your estate planning? Get in touch with our team for a no-obligation chat.