When it comes to the subject of Wills there are two groups of people - those that plan to do a Will one day and those that have done a Will and filed it away safely.
I have a message for both groups - if you have not made a Will read my post Make a Will (including how and why). If you have made a Will and filed it away safely then congratulations, but does it need updating ?
Here are 7 reasons why your Will may need updating now.
As a general rule a Will is revoked when the testator marries or enters into a civil partnership. If a Will is revoked it is treated as invalid and, therefore, if no further Will has been created the deceased's estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy - Rules of intestacy. For this reason couples are advised to make a new Will once they have married or entered into a civil partnership.
Having a new born baby in the family brings added responsibility, but one area which is often overlooked is deciding who will care for the baby if you and your partner die prematurely. A decision needs to be made on who the child's legal Guardian will be and this should be detailed in your Will.
Buying a property
How a property is dealt with on a your death will be affected by how you hold the property (Joint Tenants or Tenancy in Common) and you need to make sure this reflects your wishes. You may for instance have young children and decide you want them to remain living in this property until a certain age and you can stipulate this in your Will. If you have bought a property abroad then you need to take advice on how to best deal with this property on your death to make sure any tax implications are minimised.
When you originally made your Will you would have named an Executor, as time passes you may wish to amend this election due to the death of the Executor or other life event which requires an amendment to your original choice.
Since originally creating your Will you may have received an inheritance yourself and this may change your thoughts about the allocation of your assets on death.
When you retire it will generally be a time for reviewing your finances and at this time you should also review your will. You may want to consider things like your future health and care or Lasting Power of Attorney documents and updating your Will can ensure your wishes are implemented. Read my post Managing your money in your later years for more information.
If your former spouse was the only beneficiary under your will then following your divorce your estate will be distributed in accordance with intestacy rules which may not be what you want.