Five reasons to make or update your will

If you don’t have a will or it no longer reflects your circumstances, your affairs may not go to the people or places you want it to. There are over 60% of people in the UK living without a will at present, leaving their estate open to much ambiguity and uncertainty. There are many reasons why people do not want to make a will, such as the cost, process and thinking they don’t have enough to make a will for. At HHD Solicitors, we can help you with the process of drafting your will to reflect your circumstances and wishes.

Why should you make or update your will?

  1. Family & relationship changes

If your relationship changes, it could make your will invalid. If you marry or enter into a civil partnership, this affects the validity of your will. Similarly, if you have children and they are not provided for in your current will, this will also affect the validity. A beneficiary may have married or had children and you may wish their entitlement to go somewhere different. Any change in family or relationships have a huge impact on your will and any changes should also encourage a change to, or indeed, creation of your will.

  1. Property TransactionBelfast solicitors specialising in drafting wills

Depending on the way your property is held will determine who it goes to upon your death. If you own your property in your sole name, it is important to know where it will go. If you do not have a will, the property will fall to your parents or dependants in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy. It is important that if you own your own property, it is going to pass to the person you want it to therefore it is vital that a will is made to reflect your wishes.

  1. Serious Illness

It is important that you make a will whilst you have the capacity to do so. If you lose your mental capacity, you can no longer make your will and your assets may not pass in accordance with what you wanted. It is important to regularly review and update your will to reflect current circumstances as if anything were to happen suddenly, your will should be reflective of what you want at that time. It also makes the process easier for loved ones in relation to funeral wishes and payment of your funeral which can be released straight away with a valid will.

  1. Children

If you have any children, we understand you want them to be provided for but also, ensure they are looked after by the appropriate people. We can draft your will to address both issues by allowing you to appoint Guardians and Trustees under your will who will follow the terms of the will in relation to how your children are to be provided for. It is important that if you have more children you update your will or indeed if they marry and have their own children as you may wish to change your instructions.

  1. Inheritance

If you inherit any money, property or other asset, you may need to review your will. You may wish for certain assets to be distributed differently or to specific persons if you inherit something. It is also important to consider the Inheritance Tax Regulations for administration of your estate. The current threshold for payable Inheritance Tax is £325,000 per person with an additional allowance for spouses and property. This is an important factor which may be useful to consider when drafting your will, for example, inclusion of a charitable donation may reduce IHT payable.

Please contact one of our experienced wills and probate solicitors at HHD should you wish to discuss updating or making a will