Important life events such as getting married, moving house or having children are being overlooked by many British families, who are failing to keep their Wills regularly updated to reflect changes in their circumstances, it has been warned.
According to an article in The Mirror this week, approximately 60 per cent of UK adults do not currently have a Will in place – but even those who do need to remember that an out-of-date Will might prove to be equally problematic as having no Will whatsoever if it does not accurately reflect their wishes.
For example, getting married can ‘invalidate’ a Will unless the document contains a highly specific clause which anticipates the marriage.
In effect, this means that in most cases, someone who has prepared a Will when they were single needs to seek specialist legal advice in order to get a new Will written if they decide to tie the knot with a new partner – or else they could be at risk of dying intestate.
Similarly, other important life events can have unforeseen consequences later down the line if a Will is not regularly reviewed and kept up-to-date.
For example, new children could be overlooked in the document, an estranged ex-partner could remain entitled to the bulk of your estate, or the person named as the executor might unexpectedly die.
Experts advise that Wills should be reviewed once every three to five years at minimum, and always by a specialist solicitor who can properly advise on the implications of any circumstantial changes.