• Jake Chambers

When to Write Your Will

We all know we should write a #Will, but many of us still put it off. So, when delay is such a risk, when is the best time to write your Will?

The general rule of #EstatePlanning is to review your Will every 3 to 5 years to ensure it keeps up with your changing circumstances and priorities. There are also specific milestones that should trigger a review, and potentially some updates.


Marriage or Civil Partnership

Marriage might change how you want to distribute your legacy, giving you a reason to update your Will. Further, and


less well known, marriage automatically revokes any existing Will (unless it has been explicitly written “in contemplation of marriage”). Once the confetti settles, get some professional advice and make sure your estate planning remains appropriate.


Having children

You can appoint #Guardians in your Will to look after your children if anything happens to both parents. Although unpleasant to consider, it’s not nearly as awful as the consequences if we ignore it. Don’t leave one of your most important decisions to chance.


A new home

Our homes are some of the most valuable and most important assets we’ll ever own, so it’s critical we protect them. A new property might change how you want to gift your assets, and is a great reason to put protection in place to ensure the home stays in the family.


Divorce

Again, it might be obvious to reconsider your Will after a divorce. What’s less well known is that, after divorce, anyone described in your Will as your “husband” or “wife” are treated as dead for the purposes of that Will.


This may be as you intend, but what if your spouse/partner is named as your sole #Executor? You will have lost control over who administers your estate, and anyone opting to fulfil the role will have to apply for it. Further, any gifts you still want your ex to inherit would fail.


Starting a business

If you own part of or a whole business, you may have the opportunity to decide who will take over ownership of your share after you die. Proper planning and early action helps avoid disputes, minimises disruption, and can also help to reduce any #InheritanceTax (#IHT) bill.


So, if any of the above have happened recently, or you just haven’t reviewed your Will in the last few years, perhaps today should be the day.