Do I need to change my Will?
If you have a Will then you have taken the step of taking control of your property and assets after your death. However, there are circumstances that may mean that you should change your Will. This can be done by making a completely new Will or by adding a Codicil to your existing Will.
As a basic rule, it is important to review your will when a major event happens in your life. Examples are getting married, getting divorced, having children, the death of a beneficiary or if your financial situation significantly changes.
The event may invalidate your Will or impact on the division of your property.
If you get married then any Will that you had is AUTOMATICALLY REVOKED. It is treated as though your Will does not exist and the law of intestacy decides how your assets will be divided. The only exception to this is if your will states that a marriage is about to take place and specifically states that the Will is to remain valid after marriage.
This also applies to same sex marriages as the Civil Partnership Act 2004 enables couples in a Civil Partnership to be treated in the same way as married couples.
On the other side, getting divorced or having a civil partnership dissolved does not make the Will invalid. It still stands, however your former spouse is treated as though he/she has died for the purposes of the Will. So, for example any gift that has been left for your former spouse would not be passed on but instead fall to the remainder of your estate for the benefit of the residuary beneficiaries. If you had left everything to your ex then it would be treated as though you had died without leaving a Will.
If you have children they will not be automatically included as beneficiaries so if you do want them to inherit you should change your Will. Even if you have named other children in an existing Will if you want additional children to inherit, they should be specifically mentioned in the Will. It is recommended that you update your Will when a new child is born.
A Will can be changed by either drafting a new Will or making a codicil to the existing Will. There are times when we would recommend making an entirely new Will as opposed to a codicil.
If you do want to revisit your Will then contact us today. We can provide you will a fixed fee service in respect of this.