Life events: when you need to make a new will

There are many life events that occur, which mean that you need to be write a will. Here is our guide to when is the best time to be thinking about making a new will.

Changes in your family

You should make a will, for example, when a baby is born, one of your children becomes 18 (or perhaps some significant later age), or there is a death in the family.

Marriage

This event automatically revokes a previous will, unless your will expressly states that it's made in contemplation of your forthcoming marriage. It's always safer to write a new will once you've got married.

Civil partnership

Registering a civil partnership has the same effect as marriage, so you need to make a new will.

Divorce

Unlike marriage, a divorce doesn't revoke a previous will. But if your former spouse is named as a beneficiary, then upon divorce they will cease to be a beneficiary or receive a gift, unless your will expressly states that the gift should still take effect if you divorce. If your former spouse is named as executor in your will, then upon divorce they will no longer be allowed to act as executor or obtain probate of your will. It's best to make a new will whenever you get divorced.

You can find out more about why you should make a will if you're getting divorced here.

Dissolution of a civil partnership

The dissolution of a civil partnership has the same effect as a divorce and, again, you should write a will.

Separation

This event doesn't have the effect on a will which a divorce has, so it's best to review the will as soon as separation occurs.

Changes in your financial circumstances

You may have recently acquired assets which you would like to give to particular beneficiaries, or perhaps, due to hard times, your estate may have become insufficient to provide for the legacies you have made. Again, this is a good time to make a new will.

Changes in taxation

If your estate is large enough (or becomes large enough) to attract tax, new taxes or reliefs, or changes in the rates, may call for you to make a new will.

Going to live abroad

It's normally desirable to make a will in the country where you reside to simplify the administration of your estate. It may also be helpful if you need to establish a change of domicile. Local advice should be sought.

In any case, it's always a good idea to review your will at least every year, so that it's always up to date.

You can find out more about why you should be making a will here, or you can stop worrying and write a Will today here.


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Published on: October 26, 2010

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