When Should I Review My Will?
Posted on 10th August 2023
For many people, the importance of having a valid, up-to-date Will has been highlighted by events over the past two years. At MG Legal, many of our clients like to take advantage of our periodic free Will reviews to check that their Will still meets their requirements as their lives change. When a client asks us when they should be reviewing their Will, our expert Will drafting solicitors explain that you should always keep your Will under review. This does not necessarily mean daily reviews, but ensuring that, if something in your life changes, you review your Will to check it still meets your needs.
For example, if you are getting married or entering into a civil partnership, are expecting a child, purchasing or selling property, if someone named in your Will dies, or if you are separating from your partner, you should review your Will arrangements.
There are different ways to review your Will arrangements. If you do not have a Will in place, the best place to start is to contact the experts and arrange an appointment to discuss your wishes. Our expert Will drafters at MG Legal will talk you through each stage of making a Will, and ask the questions needed to formulate a draft Will on your behalf. Once approved, we will arrange for signature of your Will at your local office, with two members of staff acting as witnesses to your signature.
If you have a valid Will in place, but you need to make some changes, arrange an appointment with our local Wills Solicitors, who can discuss your current Will and the changes you need to make. The most common way to amend a Will is to make a new Will, as our team can ensure that your updated Will incorporates all of the relevant changes in law, if applicable. In addition, the new Will includes a clause which revokes any previous Wills you have made, so your new Will, once signed, will override your previous Wills.
What Happens if I don't Review my Will?
When a person does not review their Will during their lifetime, this can be apparent on their death. In some cases, the Will can be outdated once the person has died, which can make it difficult to administer. If the right people are not dealing with the administration of your estate, this could mean that the estate administration is dealt with incorrectly or there could be disputes between your executors and beneficiaries.
One recent case that our Probate solicitors came across saw a Will which left the entire estate to one person, who had actually died before the person who made the Will. In addition, of the executors appointed, only one was surviving. Unfortunately, this made the estate administration incredibly complex, and led to a dispute between the executor and the beneficiaries entitled to the estate under the Rules of Intestacy.
What If I Die Without a Valid Will?
If a person dies without a valid Will in place, their estate will be "intestate". This means that the deceased's estate will not necessarily pass to whom they would want it to, but instead would pass under the Rules of Intestacy.
Our expert Will drafting solicitors have discussed the Rules of Intestacy before, however, as a quick guide if you die without a Will, your estate would pass as follows:
If your estate is worth below a certain amount, to your surviving spouse or civil partner (even if you are separated at the date of death).
If your estate is worth above a certain amount, to your surviving spouse or civil partner and children (if any).
If no spouse or civil partner, to your children (or if any of them have predeceased you, to your grandchildren).
To your parents or, if none, your siblings (or if any of your siblings have predeceased you, to their children). If you have no full-blood siblings, your estate would pass to half-siblings, or to their children.
If none, to your grandparents.
If none are surviving, to your aunts or uncles, or to their children, if they have predeceased you.
If none, to your half-aunts and half-uncles, or to their children.
If none, to the Crown.
There are some other considerations that must be had in regards to the above Rules, too. If you have a partner who you cohabit with, under the Rules of Intestacy, they would not inherit anything from your estate. The only way an unmarried, cohabiting partner can receive any provision from an estate is to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, which could be costly, if disputed.
Does a Legal Professional Need to Draft my Will?
Our expert Probate Solicitors have discussed Do-It-Yourself Wills and their issues previously. Whilst you do not need a legal professional, such as our team of expert Will drafting solicitors, to prepare your Will to ensure it is valid, it is always advisable to seek professional legal advice.
When you instruct a Will drafting specialist to prepare your Will, you are not simply paying for them to draft the document, but you are paying for a full service: the professional, such as our team of Will writers at MG Legal, will consider your circumstances and look at what advice you may need before finalising your Will, such as Inheritance Tax advice, advice about the exclusion of a child, or advice about trust provisions in your Will.
As well as receiving the advice, you are ensuring that your final Will is expertly prepared and signed correctly. You will also receive free Will storage and free Will Registration with Certainty, the National Will Register.
When our prices start from just £175 plus VAT for a single Will, it's clear to see why it is such good value to have the professionals draft your Will.
Tagged as: Wills & Probate
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