An elderly couple laughing signing documents

How often should I update my Will?

We all know that we should have a Will but Jolene Head, Director of JH Wills and Powers of Attorney, advises

“Even when a Will has been put it place it is important to have it reviewed every five years or so to ensure that your details and wishes remain accurate and relevant and that any new reliefs that have become available since you made your Will are captured”.

 “I deal with administering individual’s estates when they die and that I am always very surprised at how out of date a lot of peoples Wills are. By not keeping your Will up to date it can make it much harder and therefore expensive to administer an individual’s estate and it can also mean that people are missing out on tax relief”.

Jolene has put together her top 5 tips to consider when deciding whether or not you should consider updating your existing Will:

 

  1. Make sure that your current Will maximises any reliefs that have become available since you made your Will. The new Residence Nil Rate Band which was introduced in 2017 is only available if the Will is drafted in a certain way and if your Will was put in place prior to 2007 it may be the case that your Will does not attract the new relief.
  2. Consider whether you have appropriately planned for the future (i.e care fee planning and inheritance tax).
  3. Ensure that the executors and the trustees that you have appointed in your Will are still suitable. It may be the case that your children were still under 18 when you made the Will and now they are old enough to be the executor and trustee or maybe you appointed relatives or friends that are now no longer suitable.
  4. Consider appointing guardians of children you have that are under 18.
  5. Ensure that you reduce any inheritance tax that maybe payable by your beneficiaries or safeguard assets from vulnerable beneficiaries by including a trust in your Will.

 

Remember to instruct an expert to ensure that your Will reflects your wishes and passes your estate on to your loved ones in the most efficient and suitable way for you. Changes in a family like births, deaths, separation and divorce can all be triggers for checking that your Will is up to date.

If you are considering making a Will or amending your current Will please contact us on 01422 658008

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