We recommend that clients check the terms of their Will every 3 to 5 years, but it may be necessary to review it sooner if your personal or financial circumstances change.
In particular, we would recommend a review in the following situations:
- Marriage/civil partnership: Most Wills become automatically invalid upon the parties marrying or entering into a civil partnership.
- Death of beneficiary, executor, trustee or guardian: If someone named in your Will dies, you may need to update your Will.
- Specific gifts: If you sell or give away an item that you have left to someone as a legacy, you may need to review the terms of your Will. It will also need to be looked at if you take out a mortgage over a property that you have left as a legacy.
- Moving abroad/foreign assets: If you emigrate or acquire an asset abroad (e.g. a holiday home) then you may need to look at your Will.
- Business interests: If you own a business, it is important that you know what will happen when you die: how will the business continue; what rights do your executors have; and will the value of your share avoid inheritance tax. Please contact us for advice regarding the protection of your business, ensuring maximum value to your estate, and inheritance tax.
- Life policies, pension benefits and death-in-service payments: The benefits payable under any of the above will not necessarily be paid to those named in your Will. Furthermore, you can reduce the inheritance tax payable on your death by nominating or assigning these benefits outside of your Will.
- Trusts: If you acquire an interest in a trust, please contact us to check how your Will affects this and whether you should review your Will.
- Inheritance tax: When you die, your estate may be liable to inheritance tax. It is important that you review your assets regularly to check what extent this will apply to your estate when you die. It is possible to take steps during your lifetime to reduce the amount of inheritance tax which would be payable on your death. Every individual has an inheritance tax allowance. Widows, widowers and surviving registered civil partners may be entitled to an additional allowance.
- Long-Term Care: In the future, you may require care whether in your own home or in a residential or nursing home. If you have to pay for this care yourself, this will affect who inherits and what they inherit when you die.
If you want to discuss whether you need to review the terms of your Will, contact Sarah Ryan on 01525 372 140 or sarahr_at_austinandcarnley.co.uk.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.