Why Make a Will, when I have already made one?

Why Make a Will, when I have already made one?

 

It is easy to think that once you have made a Will, that you can forget about it and not give it another thought. However, this can have unintended consequences particularly after your circumstances have changed and your Will hasn’t been reviewed and updated.

 

Example

If you make a Will and then get married or civil-partnered, the Will is revoked and becomes null and void automatically and by reason of law. There is an exception to this, if you make the Will in contemplation of marriage or civil partnership and words are included to stipulate that the Will is not to be revoked.

 

Mary & Ed….and Ash & his Brother

Mary has a child called Ed, she makes a Will to appoint a guardian and trustees for Ed and has life insurance in trust for Ed, in other words, Mary has done everything right and has peace of mind that Ed is protected if she has died.

 

Mary meets Ash, and they get married. Everyone is happy (why not!) but Mary doesn’t know that her Will is no longer valid and she is intestate (means you have no valid Will in place).

 

There is a horrible accident and Mary dies of her injuries. Her estate is below £270,000 and this means that Ash inherits it under the Rules of Intestacy. Ash is heart broken and doesn’t think to make a Will.

 

Some years later, Ash dies and his estate passes to his brother under the Rules of Intestacy.

 

You can see what has happened, the inheritance from Mary has ended up passing to Ash’s brother and not to Ed.

 

This could have been avoided if Mary had made a Will in contemplation of her marriage to Ash, or after her marriage to Ash- or Ash could have made a Will for Ed. In any event, nothing was done and Ed lost his inheritance.

 

You may have come across similar situations where there has been a later life marriage following a death or divorce, and one side of the family has randomly lost their inheritance.

 

We recommend that you keep your Wills under review every 3 -5 years and upon any significant change to your personal circumstances (e.g. divorce or cohabitation) or to your financial circumstances (e.g. receipt of an inheritance).

 

We have decades of experience in advising about Wills and contact us to chat about any concerns and we’re always pleased to hear from you and to help.

 

Naomi Pinder, 10, 01, 2022