Time to Review Your Will?

Gabrielle dell portrait.

Gabrielle Dell

Senior Solicitor

Phone 01264 325840

Email gdell@bsandi.co.uk

It’s ‘Update your Will Week 2023’, the annual campaign by Solicitors for the Elderly.

The idea is to raise awareness of the need to keep Wills under review and to update them as time and circumstances move on. Too few people do this. It means that the benefits that Wills provide – having wishes carried through and arrangements taken care of – are sometimes lost.

As Wills specialists, one of our main messages to clients is: check in on your will in a few years’ time, or as significant changes or events happen in your life. All too often, Wills are written, filed away and forgotten about. The problem then is that the aftermath of the person’s death is made more difficult for loved ones who are left with an out-of-date Will. In the worst cases, this leads to family disputes.

One issue in particular that parents need to be aware of is around guardianship. A Will allows you to appoint legal guardians who will take responsibility for looking after your children in the event that you and your partner die before your children are 18. This means you can choose the people you trust to bring your children up in the way you would want, in the place you’d like them to be, and in line with your principles and beliefs. Where legal guardians aren’t specified, it will usually be for the courts to decide who to appoint. And while your children’s best interests will be paramount in that decision, it doesn’t mean the guardians will be those you would have chosen.

The good news for anyone worried that they have neglected their Will is that it’s usually quick and easy to bring it up-to-date. Sometimes, the best option is to replace the Will with a new one. But in many cases, all that’s needed is a ‘Codicil’ – a separate document that incorporates changes into the original. As part of this process, your solicitor will discuss your circumstances and will be able to advise you not just on the provisions you should have in place, but also on ways of passing on the greatest value to loved ones.  

Ultimately, the most effective Will is one that reflects a person’s circumstances at any given moment in time. Keeping yours under regular review is the best way of achieving this.

To speak to us about making a Will, or about updating a Will you have already made, contact us on 01264 353411 or at info@bsandi.co.uk.

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