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How often should I change my Will?

Helen Vorley, F.CILEx Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in Astle Paterson’s Wills & Probate department discusses how often you should change your Will.

Helen said, “Once you have made your Will, that is not necessarily the end of the matter.

We advise that, in any event, you should consider altering or changing your Will every 5 years – however there are a number of life events which may take place in the interim and should they happen to you we would advise that you consider amending or changing your Will immediately.

These include:-

  • If you marry then your Will would be automatically revoked (unless you had made your previous Will in contemplation of your marriage).
  • If you become divorced, or your marriage is annulled or declared void.  In most cases any appointment of your former spouse as executor will be automatically cancelled and any bequest to him or her will lapse.
  • Should you change your name or should anyone mentioned in your Will change their name.
  • If your proposed Executor dies or becomes unable or unsuitable to act – or, indeed, if they tell you that they would be unwilling to act as an Executor of your Estate on your death.
  • If you ultimately sell an item of property which is mentioned in your Will.
  • If you come into a large sum of money or other property then it is advisable that you meet with a solicitor to discuss your potential Inheritance Tax liability and the ways which you seek to minimise the same during your lifetime.
  • If you acquire assets outside the United Kingdom or you amend a Will that has been made in another Country.
  • Finally, we would advise that you read your Will every year or so to ensure that the bequests that you are making are suitable and that you continue to wish for the relatives and loved ones to receive those amounts – should you wish to alter this then you would of course need to alter your Will.”

At Astle Paterson we are best placed to advise on planning for your future.  Please contact Helen Vorley of Astle Paterson’s Wills & Probate department on either 01283 531366 or by way of email at hvorley@astlepaterson.co.uk to discuss matters further.

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