When you should update your Will

Updating your Will is an important task that many often ignore and put off. As personal circumstances change, it is not uncommon for you to want to change your Will.

An outdated Will could cause lots of complications for your loved ones when you die. For example, it can cause them to receive less than intended and possibly paying more inheritance tax.

Updating your Will frequently will help to avoid this.

Why update your will?

It is important to update your Will if your wishes have changed, because if you die without having updated it, your estate may not pass to who you wish.

There will be times in your life when your circumstances change which could result in you changing your wishes. Life events that will usually cause people to change their will include:

  • Buying or selling property
  • Having children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren
  • Getting married or divorced
  • Starting a new business
  • One of the previously chosen executors, beneficiaries or guardians dies

How to make changes to your Will

To make any changes to your existing Will, you have to make an official alteration called a Codicil which must be signed and witnessed in the same way as your original Will.

There are no limits to how many codicils you can add to a Will, however, the more changes to make, the more difficult it may be to interpret your Will after your death. If you want to make several significant changes to your Will, it is recommended that you create a new Will instead of using Codicils.

How often should you update your Will?

It is recommended that even without any significant life changes or events, you should review your Will every 3 to 5 years to ensure that its contents still accurately reflect your wishes.

Can beneficiaries change a Will?

A beneficiary can change a Will after the person has died. A deed of variation (sometimes called a deed of family arrangement) allows this. However, a beneficiary can only make changes to their own share of their estate.

This is often done if the beneficiary doesn’t need all of the inheritance they are entitled to and therefore would prefer for it to go to someone else. It can also help reduce inheritance tax.

If your current Will is no longer accurate or up to date, our team is on hand to help guide your through every stage of making a Codicil or a new Will. For more advice or to arrange an appointment, please call our team on 01925 418 004 or contact us online.