Last year saw a number of significant events that will have long lasting implications both here in the UK and abroad.
There may well have been a number of changes in your life too, which could impact the validity of your Will and other estate planning documents you have.
With the start of the New Year perhaps it is a good time to review your Will.
Things to consider include asking yourself whether your Will still reflects your wishes, or would you like to add or remove beneficiaries?
Have you got married or divorced since making your last Will or have you had a child or adopted a child?
A change in your personal circumstance could have a legal impact on your Will and so these are just some of things you should be thinking about.
Perhaps you have yet to make a Will. We understand that for many people making a Will is not a pleasant thought. However, if you die without a Will, your estate will be governed by the rules of intestacy. This can mean that your spouse will not inherit the whole of your estate, or your estate may not be distributed in the way that you wish.
If you are living with someone, but are not married, your partner may have to go to court to receive any financial assistance from your estate.
Irrespective of the number of years you have lived together, an unmarried partner has no automatic right to their partner’s estate. Your partner will receive nothing at all automatically unless they are named as a beneficiary in your Will.
This may all seem overwhelming, but it is important to plan ahead, particularly if you have children, own a property, have savings and investments or own a business.
By not having an up-to-date Will, you can create uncertainty and confusion for your loved ones, which is completely avoidable. So make a resolution to get your Will done this year.
Caroline Wallis, head of our Wills and Probate department and her team are on hand to help you, if you need to make, update or review your Will.