Estate planning documents do not expire like off-milk, but they can become obsolete with change in circumstances
National Wills Week will take place from 16-20 September 2019 – get your FREE will here
It is essential to have up-to-date documents and to review your will on a regular basis. So although you have ticked the box for a will and have filed it away, remind yourself to review your will regularly to avoid an out-of-date Will, as this could cause heartache and confusion to your loved ones, at a time when they are grieving.
Our recommendation is that you check your Will every two years, or when you have any big changes in your life.
Has your marital status changed?
Have you married, remarried or divorced? Please note that on a divorce, the law allows you 3 months in which to change your Will. In the 3 month grace period, your ex-spouse is presumed to have died before you and they will not inherit. If you don’t change your Will after the 3 month period and you leave your ex-spouse as a beneficiary, they will inherit if anything happens to you.
Have any of your beneficiaries changed?
Do you have a new grandchild/grandchildren? Perhaps you have changed your mind about who should inherit. Or some of your beneficiaries may have passed away and need to be removed.
Has your financial situation changed?
Your financial situation may have changed and this could influence who your beneficiaries are, particularly if you have left cash bequest/legacies. You may find that there is not enough cash to meet these, or you don’t want to prejudice your main beneficiary by leaving extra cash to other beneficiaries.
Have you remarried?
If you are remarrying, it is especially important to make sure you understand the differences and consequences of marrying in or out of community of property. If you marry without an Antenuptial Contract you are automatically married in community of property and you then have a joint estate. This can be problematic if you both own your own property. By virtue of the marriage in community, you will then each own a half of the other person’s property. This can make things very complicated if you want your separate children to inherit your property.
Have your personal details changed?
You may need to update personal information, such as contact details if you have moved, and include instructions about digital assets, such as online accounts, email accounts, social media, financial details, passwords, PIN
How to Update Your Will
If you are in any doubt, please don’t hesitate to call us and we can talk you through the consequences and highlight what you should do to make the situation streamlined and easy.