Is it time to review your will?
We look at some of the key life events that should trigger you to review your will, or make one if you haven’t already.
If you need to make a will or update your existing will, Co-op Legal Services can help and they’re offering Silversurfers members £25 discount off their will writing services.
Making sure you have a valid, up to date will is always important, but there are some significant life events that make this even more crucial. Your will should be a living document, that you review and update throughout your lifetime.
Certain life events can cause you to re-evaluate things and make positive changes and for some this could mean getting healthy or pursuing a new career. For others it could mean getting on top of financial affairs and planning ahead by making a will.
Our will writers recommend that you review your will after any of these 3 life events:
Starting or ending a relationship
This can affect how you’d like to distribute your estate after you die. If someone new has come into your life or a relationship with a partner, friend or family member has broken down, you should read your will to check it still reflects your wishes.
It’s also important to know that marriage and divorce both directly alter the terms of any valid will you already have. The best way to mitigate this risk is to make a new will after the event, setting out your current wishes. It’s also possible to include wording in your will that takes an upcoming wedding into consideration.
Growing your family
You might recognise the importance of having a will to provide for your children, but what about when they become adults? As children grow up their needs will change, so it’s important to make sure your will continues to provide for them in the right way.
You also need to make sure you’ve considered any new arrivals to the family. It’s possible to word your will in a way that accounts for future children or grandchildren. If your will doesn’t accommodate new arrivals, you’ll need to update it to ensure that they don’t miss out.
Gaining or losing assets
Your estate might not look the same when you die as it did when you first wrote your will, meaning it might not provide for your loved ones in the way you’d intended. As your estate increases or decreases in size, you may want to make changes to the way it’s distributed between your loved ones. If you inherit a large sum of money, this needs to be reflected in your will. Likewise, if you sell some of your assets or downsize your property, this also needs to be factored in. The size of your estate will also directly impact how much inheritance tax needs to be paid and this something that you may be able to mitigate by having the right type of will in place.
Even if you don’t have plans to sell any assets before you die, the decision could be taken out of your hands so it’s still important to consider. For example, if you go into care in the future then these fees could significantly deplete the size of your estate.
As a Silversurfers member, as well as benefitting from £25 off of will writing services, you can also access a wealth of free digital tools to help you understand wills, including how the different types of wills work and what level of protection is right for your circumstances.