Updating Your Will
You should update your Will and make a Power of Attorney (“POA”) if:
- You have investments / pension arrangements providing you with an income.
- You inherit money or assets from a friend or relative.
- Anyone named in your Will becomes incapacitated or sadly dies.
- You become divorced or separated from your spouse or civil partner.
- You wish to include a new person or persons in your Will or POA.
Contact us today for a FREE review of your legal documents
When you make a Will, you try to make it as “future proof” as possible. However, personal circumstances change over time and that’s why we recommend that you review your Will every three years or so to ensure your Will reflects your current circumstances. In our experience, these are the most common motivations behind our clients’ update their existing Wills:
Buying and Selling Property
Property and land are some of the most valuable assets you will own, and your Will must express clearly the description and destination of any such assets to beneficiaries. Most clients will update their Will if they upsize, downsize or inherit a property from a friend or relative.
Changes in Your Financial Position
If the size of your estate changes considerably – up or down – you should review your Will.
Do you want a charity to benefit from your newly acquired wealth? Maybe you bought or sold an asset, such as a home, started a new business, or there may be a new, valuable belonging that you know a loved-one will cherish. However small the changes to your estate may be, you may wish to vary how your assets and possessions are distributed
Protection of Assets
When you created your Will, you may not have felt you wanted or needed to protect certain assets. However, circumstances change, and as a result you may now wish to add trusts to your Will to efficiently preserve your assets and protect vulnerable beneficiaries.
Family dynamics can change over the years. We recommend you revisit your Will following any significant changes in your personal life.
- A new partner: consider updating your Will to provide for a new partner. It is essential if you live together, or buy a significant asset together, such as a house or business.
- Divorce and separation: once you are legally divorced, a former spouse cannot not benefit under your Will unless you add specific wording to your Will.
- If you have children or a death in the family that may affect the distribution of your assets, you will need to review your Will and update it to reflect the appropriate changes.
Aside from reviewing your Will in terms of who is to benefit from your estate, it’s also important to assess whether the Executors, Trustees or Guardians appointed in your existing Will may no longer be appropriate. It is essential to consider whether your current Will represents your present wishes.
If your relationship with an executor or beneficiary deteriorates, you may no longer wish to include them in your Will. However, certain family members and dependents may still be able to make a claim against your estate – even if they are not named in your Will.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
If you think that your partner or spouse or family would simply step into your shoes on your behalf, you’re wrong. The law does not take into consideration any verbal agreements you may have made previously. If you want someone you trust to make decisions for you, you will need to sign and register a power of attorney document.
Put simply: if you don’t already have a registered power of attorney document, you are putting your cash, assets and personal welfare at risk.
If you have investments or a pension arrangement that generates an income you rely upon to subsidise your lifestyle, you may not be aware that the loss of your mental capacity will mean that no-one can deal with your financial affairs unless you have a Power of Attorney in place.
If there is no Power of Attorney already in place, your friends/family members would need to go through an expensive and time-consuming Court process called “guardianship” just to be able to have the power to administer your financial arrangements whilst you’re incapacitated.
Don’t leave anything to chance: make a Power of Attorney today. We can help you with the entire process and this can be done from the comfort of your own home.