Making a Will with a reputable law firm is vital to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes in the most tax efficient manner. If you have already done so, you have taken the first steps to safeguarding your beneficiaries’ future.
However, circumstances change over time, and it is possible that your Will might fall out of date. This leaves the possibility of loved ones missing out on assets you wished to leave them, or deprived of the full extent of those assets by changes in tax legislation.
Here are five circumstances in which you might need to review and / or update your Will:-
If you have married since you made your Will, it is void. This means any provisions contained in your Will fail, and your estate is administered under the Intestacy Rules.
2. Additions to the Family
New children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other family members may have been added to the family since you made your Will. These individuals may not be specifically provided for and will therefore not receive anything if your Will is not updated.
3. Change in Assets
You might have bought or sold property, received a windfall or given away specific items since you made your Will. If your Will makes provision for distribution of these assets, they may fail. This might then result in particular beneficiaries missing out on assets they should have received.
4. Overseas Investments
If you have purchased assets overseas, you will need to update your Will accordingly. This is particularly important if you have made an additional Will in the overseas jurisdiction to deal with those assets. Trans-jurisdictional Will require careful drafting to ensure all assets in all jurisdictions are covered. Failure to update your Will accordingly may result in your assets here, overseas or both falling subjection to the Intestacy Rules or the overseas equivalent.
5. Wills made before October 2007
We recommend you review your Will on a regular basis due to the evolving nature of tax legislation. However, it is particularly important to review your Will if it was made prior to October 2007. A change in tax legislation relating to married couples (including civil partners) and their use of the Nil Rate Band (your tax free threshold of £325,000 at present) means Wills made before this date may not have utilised the Nil Rate Band thresholds as efficiently as possible. This may mean unnecessary tax or administration expenses would be incurred.
If you think your Will might need updating due to any of the above, or you simply wish to review your Will just in case, please call us on 020 8505 4777 to arrange a free initial consultation.