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Reviewing a Will - Talbots Top Ten Tips

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It’s often said that not enough people make a Will – unbelievably about 60% in the UK still don’t have one. 

“Well I’ve made a Will so that’s alright then!”

Yes but….you should still review this to make sure it is suitable and effective - an out of date Will can cause almost as much trouble for the people you are trying to protect as no Will at all. The complex laws of intestacy could apply, or there could be a greater risk of claims against your estate. So what should you review, and when? Here, Sue Howard reviewsTalbots’ Top Ten Tips (in no particular order – they’re all important!)

  1. Where is it?
    Even in this digital age it is the original paper copy of your Will that counts. Is it safe? Is it in good condition? Even a small mark on it can cause questions about its validity. Talbots will gladly store your Will for you free of charge in our secure facility, whenever you made it and whoever first prepared it for you. And we’ll also review it with you free of charge when we receive it.
     
  2. Executors and Trustees
    Are you still happy with your choice? Are they still willing and able? Ensuring the appointment of your Executors and Trustees is up-to-date will almost certainly avoid delays and further unnecessary costs involved in applying to the Court for an alternative appointment.
     
  3. Relationships
    You should revise your Will if you plan to marry or enter a civil partnership. It’s just as important as the guest list and all those other preparations.  Any Will made before the big day is automatically revoked unless it was made with a special clause included in it. You should also review your Will if your relationship ends, as it is now almost certainly out of date and needs to be looked at as a priority. Provisions in your Will relating to your spouse or partner will remain valid until the marriage or civil partnership is legally dissolved.
     
  4. Change in your assets
    The classic one is moving house. If you purchased a new home and sold your old home, a gift of property under your Will could fail. If you have acquired a new asset and would like to give it to a specific person, then you must update your Will.
     
  5. Growing Family
    Birth of children or grandchildren is a hugely exciting time and naturally you want to look after the next  generations.  Your Will is an essential part of caring for them. You may wish to appoint a guardian to look after your children, leave a nest egg for educating the grandchildren or set up trusts.
     
  6. Bereavement
    It’s a difficult time, and you may need our help if you are an executor yourself. But also think about checking your own Will because if someone you have provided for in your Will has died you may need to update it.
     
  7. Tax
    Planning opportunities exist through your Will which you may not have previously considered. There have been recent changes to the rules regarding Inheritance Tax which may mean that existing Wills should be reviewed to make sure they are as tax efficient as possible.
     
  8. Care fee planning
    It is possible in your Will to set up trust structures that help you plan for long term care and to ensure your property goes to your family through the use of a trust.
     
  9. Charitable giving
    You may wish to leave money to a favourite charity or organisation to assist them in funding a cause close to your own heart.
     
  10. Time flies!
    Has it been 3 years since we spoke? Talk to us!  At Talbots Law we love to talk to our clients and we want you to keep in touch with us. We recommend that you look at your Will at least every 3 years and we are happy to talk it through with you on the phone or in the office. Whether you need to change it or not, we’ll be glad you got in touch.

So remember, whichever of our Top Ten is in your hit parade, we offer a free, no obligation consultation for clients to discuss their Will. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes of your time and can be conducted in any of our seven offices. Our lawyer will recommend a course of action and provide an estimate of the likely fees if any change is needed.

Please get in touch with your usual contact at Talbots Law or call our friendly New Enquiries Team on 0800 118 1500.

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