Q&A - Should I update my Will even if my circumstances have not changed?

Q.  I made my Will years ago when I divorced.  Whilst my circumstances have not really changed and I have not remarried, I am concerned that as it was drawn up quickly it does not really reflect what I want to happen when I die. I am happy for my son to receive my house but, if he sells it, I would like him to ensure some of the money goes to his 3 daughters, my granddaughters.  I might also want to leave some money to other relatives.

A:  It is always advisable to review your Will regularly, not just when your circumstances change but every five years or so. Whilst your personal circumstances may not have significantly changed, the law relating to inheritance tax and succession planning could have. You may find therefore, that you could now include something in your Will that would be beneficial to you and your family.

If you leave your house outright to your son, after your death he can dispose of it how and when he wishes. You could tell him you would like him to give some of the proceeds of sale to his 3 daughters, but his personal circumstances may be such at the time that he will not do that. The only way to be certain that your granddaughters will benefit from the sale proceeds is to leave them a gift in your Will directly. If your granddaughters are currently minors, any inheritance they receive will be held in trust for them until they reach 18 years of age, or such age as you stipulate in your Will.  

You can leave as many gifts as you like, to whomever you like, but it is important that your Will reflects your exact wishes as your Executors will be bound to distribute your estate in accordance with your Will. Simply expressing your wishes to loved ones will not be sufficient.

Article 27/07/2020

This question has been answered by Jessica Wright a Solicitor with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  In accordance with government guidelines, most of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.


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Jessica Wright

Jessica Wright

Solicitor

Part of our Probate, Wills, Tax and Trusts team in Oswestry.

Ulia Choudhry

Ulia Choudhry

Solicitor

Part of our Probate, Wills, Tax and Trusts team in Wrexham