Having a will is so important, as it sets out a specific set of wishes, and divides up your property when you are no longer here. However, what some people don’t realise is that there are certain life changes and events that may necessitate you changing your will. If something needs to be changed, it’s important to get professional advice, ensuring that the changes you make are legal, and that the will is valid after the changes. Here are some reasons you might need to change your will.
Marriage or divorce
If you get divorced after writing your will, then it’s important to get it updated. A divorce can cause complications if you don’t have an updated will, and if you left everything to your ex-spouse, then it means the gift can go back to the estate, so would be divided as if you’d passed away without a will. If you still want to leave money or property to your former spouse, it’s possible to state this, but your will needs to be updated.
Those who marry or remarry should also ensure their wills are updated. Many people assume that wills will still be valid, even if they marry later in life, but your marriage can then revoke your will, meaning you need to make a new one.
A new child
Any children or grandchildren born after your will is written will need to be added to your will. They won’t automatically be included, so it’s important that you find a will writing service as soon as possible to get it updated. They can also advise on the use of trusts and other options, so you can ensure your new arrival is taken care of.
Rather than writing a new will, there are some situations where an amendment known as a codicil can be used. Some reasons for this include:
- Changing your executor or trustee – this can be because the original appointees have died
- Changing a benefactor
- Increasing a gift
- Updating your funeral plans
Codicils can be an easier option for making changes, but again it’s important that they’re carried out by professionals to ensure they are legally binding. They’re usually only used for small changes, and will need to be kept with the original will to ensure your new wishes are carried out. So, if there’s more than one change to make, then it’s sometimes worth having a new will written to avoid confusion.
Some people want to change their will to remove benefactors, as they’ve fallen out, or circumstances have changed. In these cases, it’s important to get legal advice, as there have been recent cases where relatives have been cut out of wills, then managed to claim their inheritance through the court anyway. That’s why using a professional will writing service is so important, as it ensures things are clearly laid out.
If you are considering having your will updated, get in touch with Heritage Wills today on 01603 894500 for a friendly, professional service.