Our expert local solicitors for Wills discuss making and updating your Will
Posted on 4th June 2021
Our expert local solicitors for Wills discuss making and keeping your Will up to date during your lifetime. Read on for more information.
Many of our clients will come to us regarding a divorce or selling and buying their property and comment that they do not need to consider making a Will as they already have one in place. They probably do not give it further thought. However, the problem is that, unless you review it regularly, you Will can quickly become out of date.
As local solicitors who deal with applications for probate and estate administration, we often hear that the loved ones of the deceased had told them that their wishes had changed before they died, but the Will does not reflect these updated wishes. Sadly, in cases such as these, it may be that there is nothing that can be done. A person’s most recent valid Last Will and Testament is the document that needs to be followed when dealing with the administration of their estate.
So, if you or your loved one wants to change their wishes in their Will, the best thing to do is to arrange an appointment with expert “Will solicitors near me” to discuss and make these changes.
So, what may cause you to want to update your Will?
1. A change to your financial circumstances:
Our team of Wills solicitors often come across clients who want to leave specific sums of money, sometimes amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds, to friends, family and charities, before leaving the remainder of their estate to someone else entirely. Whilst this is okay to do if your estate is worth the same when you die, however, if your circumstances change during your lifetime and your estate is worth less (or even more) than you had anticipated when you made your Will, would these gifts still reflect what you would want to happen?
For example, you make a Will when the value of your estate is £750,000. You leave gifts of £50,000 to each of your six children, with the remainder to pass to your spouse. You expected your spouse to receive £350,000, which you felt was plenty for them to live comfortably, on top of what they own themselves. However, over the years the value of your estate decreases and at the date of your death you have £350,000. This would mean that your spouse would receive £50,000, which is considerably less than you had planned.
2. A change in where your money is:
Another situation that arises is when a client decides to leave all of the money from a specific account or investment to a specific person. Things change and their money moves, and they forget to update their Will. After their death, that person receives nothing as the funds are no longer in the specified account.
For example, you have £50,000 in premium bonds which you are leaving to your neighbour, who has been a good friend to you for many years. During your lifetime, you decide to cash in your premium bonds and invest in shares instead. On your death, the specific gift of your premium bonds fails and your good friend does not receive any gift from you.
3. A change in your family:
Your family may change over the years and you should therefore review your Will as any changes happen. For example, you make a Will that leaves everything to your two children. Years later, you decide to have another child, but do not update your Will. When you die, your entire estate is divided between your two older children, and your third child is left with no share of your estate.
What is MG Legal’s advice?
Our expert team of Will drafters at MG Legal would always advise reviewing your Will annually. Now, we do not mean that you need to make a new Will every year. However, you should check the provisions of your Will still reflect your financial and family circumstances, and that they still cover what you want.
If you are in any doubt, you can always contact our team and we can discuss your Will provisions with you and what you would want to happen, and check that your Will reflects these wishes.
What happens if my loved one dies without updating their Will?
If your loved ones dies without updating their Will, a few things may happen. If they did not have a valid Will at all, their estate must be distributed in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy, which you can read about, here.
If your loved one had a valid Will in place on their death, their estate must usually be administered in accordance with this. However, if you are unhappy with the way an estate is to be divided, you should contact expert Will solicitors to find out what options there are for you. This could include deciding whether you are entitled to make a claim for provision, disputing the validity of the Will (if there is evidence that the person who made the Will did not have capacity or was coerced into making their Will), or varying the Will using a Deed of Variation if all of the beneficiaries are in agreement.
Can MG Legal, solicitors near me, help?
If you want to discuss making or updating a Will, applications for probate after your loved one has died, or whether you can dispute a Will, contact our team at your local office in Lancaster, Longridge, or Garstang for the Preston area. We can discuss your matter with you and confirm our legal fees for assisting you.
Alternatively, email email@example.com and a member of the team will contact you within one working hour to discuss your enquiry.
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