Having a Will in place is always sensible; particularly if you have dependents and are of an age where you have built up a degree of wealth by way of savings, investments and property. However, for it to remain truly effective, it needs to be updated to take account of life changing events.
Generally speaking - it’s recommended that you re-visit your Will every 5 years; although, if life changing events such as a birth or divorce occurs prior to that time lapse, then it’s far better to update your Will sooner rather than later.
Typical life changing events that require you to update your Will include the following:
After a birth: Any new child needs to be reflected in your Will, not only to ensure that he or she receives part of your legacy, but also, to ensure they are looked after by nominated guardians. You need to appoint your partner as a guardian (particularly if you are not married) or indeed any other family members or friends you feel are suitable for the task.
Marriage / Divorce: Any Wills, made prior to a marriage, will be rendered invalid upon marriage. Therefore, you need to produce a new Will to avoid dying intestate. You also need to be aware that divorce doesn’t necessarily make an existing Will invalid – although it does prevent your previous spouse from receiving anything.
Moving Home: A new Will should takes into account your new property. You also need to ensure that your Will isn’t affected by the disposal of old properties.
Change of Executor: You can have up to 4 executors within your Will. Should executors die OR you wish to change one or more of the executors, these changes need to be reflected within the Will.
After the death of a beneficiary: If someone you have named as a beneficiary in your Will has died, you need to amend your Will in order to re-distribute your legacy and if relevant, appoint a new guardian for your dependants.
Financial Change: If you receive a large amount of money – for example a lottery win OR someone has left you a legacy.
Whilst you can’t amend a Will after its been signed or witnessed, you can make official alterations in the form of a ‘Codicil.’ A codicil is an official - legally recognised alteration. Alternatively, if there are many changes that need reflecting you might need to consider generating a new Will.
Whichever route you choose, it doesn’t have to be hugely expensive and time consuming with ‘Mylastwill.’ ‘Mylastwill’ offers an easy to use online-Will application service backed with real time, online advice from our Will writing experts; these same experts will also check your application - making you aware of any amendments that ideally need to be made – prior to processing the Will.
For just £14 a year, your Mylastwill account allows you to make updates easily and effectively.