Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
Ordinarily, we suggest that you review your Will every five years or after a significant life event. But, what is a significant life event?
Saying, I Do?
When you get married, unless it was made in contemplation of marriage, your Will is automatically revoked and the Rules of Intestacy then become applicable to your Estate. This means that your Will is invalid and the statutory rules that apply to the distribution of your Estate come into force. Even if you want everything to go to your spouse on your death following marriage, then you should still arrange to have a valid Will drawn up because the statutory rules only benefit your spouse up to a certain amount, depending on the value of your Estate and your family circumstances.
Having children can severely impact your Estate and the division of the same. Regardless of whether you have got biological children, children by way of adoption or by fostering or stepchildren, you must consider your Estate carefully. If you are not married and you have a child with your partner, the Rules of Intestacy would mean that your children would receive anything that you own that does not pass by survivorship, putting your partner in a precarious position. If you have stepchildren or foster children, they are not automatically entitled to your Estate so your biological or adopted children may benefit and they are not under a legal obligation to share with their stepsiblings or other members of the family.
Saying, Good Riddance?
Whilst getting married revokes your Will, Divorce does not. It does mean however that those sections within your Will that referred to your ex-spouse would fail, as the law considers the ex-spouse to have predeceased you and as such as the Will would be read as if the date of the Decree Absolute was their date of death. You may not want to exclude your ex-spouse from your Will as they may be the main care giver for your children. You may still want your ex-spouse to act as Trustee for your children if they are still minor and so it is important to consider all options.
Saying, We’ve Moved?
Buying a house is a significant life event. How do you own your property? With whom? A property is one of the largest purchases of your life, so it is imperative you protect it adequately and ensure that your share goes where you want it to go, particularly if you have children or a second spouse. There are ways that your share in the property can be protected in your Will to ring-fence it from being misused and to ensure that it is kept safe for the eventual beneficiaries.