It’s important to write a will, so that you can ensure your loved ones are taken care of financially after you pass away. But things change, so we suggest you review your will every five years, so it accurately reflects your wishes. Prestige Tax and Trust Services reveals five reasons to update your will.
Your existing will is cancelled out when you get married. You will therefore need to make a new will when you marry or re-marry, as otherwise, you will have no say over how your assets are distributed. Your will remains valid after divorce, but your decree absolute will revoke any provisions that apply to your spouse. It’s a good idea to update your will at this point to reallocate any assets your spouse was due to inherit and if you appointed them as your executor, you will need to change this too.
Thinking of executors
It’s crucial that you pick executors carefully, so that they can manage your estate and ensure your beneficiaries receive your assets. They should be trustworthy, honest, responsible and patient, so they can handle the duties of this role. If you learn that your executor does not possess these qualities, or they pass away, you will need to select someone else for the role by updating your will. If they prove themselves incapable of handling financial matters, pick someone else as soon as possible!
Factoring in inflation
There are two ways to divide your assets up in a will. First, you can make specific gifts, such as leaving a set amount of money to your child. Second, you can leave the remainder of your estate (‘residue’) to someone, by writing a residuary clause. You should take into consideration, however, the fact that the value of your estate’s residue can be inflated or deflated by national inflation rates, so you might need to update your will to ensure the beneficiary of your residue receives the correct sum.
Buying a home
It’s always a good idea to update your will after buying a new family home. Obviously, this will allow you to ensure that after you die, you can control who inherits the property. Your house will often be your most valuable asset, so it could push the value of your estate past the inheritance tax threshold (currently £325,000), depriving your beneficiaries of money. However, if you leave your main family home to your spouse, it does not count towards your estate, but you can only do this in a will.
Starting a business
Definitely alter your will after starting a business. Again, it will be one of your most valuable assets, so you will need to think carefully about inherits your firm. But you should also ensure that the transition of ownership is as smooth as possible, to ensure the company keeps making money. The process of writing a company into a will can be different, depending on its legal structure, so contact our business protection department, where our experts can help you ensure you firm thrives after you pass away.
Prestige Tax and Trust Services
If you want to change your will, you need to write a codicil, an amendment which modifies or revokes a part of you will. It’s a good idea to enlist expert aid, to ensure the codicil is legally sound. Prestige Tax and Trust Services’ team can help you ensure your will always reflects your circumstances, so that if you pass away, you can ensure your loved ones are taken care of financially for years to come.