What impact do my personal circumstances have on my Will?
22 November 2019 by Lauren Hancock
As our lives evolve, our wants and needs change. These changes extend to the need to update our Wills as our family and financial circumstances arise.
As a solicitor I am often told, “I do not need a Will as I wish for my wife/husband to inherit all of my Estate anyway.”
It is important to note that, where someone dies without a Will, their wife, husband or civil partner will not automatically inherit all of their deceased spouses Estate. Under the intestacy rules, which govern what is to happen when someone dies without a Will, (leaving a surviving spouse and children surviving) the first £250,000 of their Estate passes to their spouse and the remainder is divided between their spouse and their children.
The number of marriages in the UK have decreased in recent years with many choosing instead to simply cohabit long term. Many believe that their so called “common law spouse” will receive their estate. The reality is that without a Will in place, any long term or cohabiting partner will not inherit from your Estate. Ensuring you have a Will in place, establishing your wishes on your death, is crucial.
It is not common knowledge that if you marry after making a Will, your Will becomes null and void. This is the case unless your Will specifies that it has been made in anticipation of your marriage. Make sure to check your Will carefully after any significant life changes to ensure your wants and need are still met.
Following a divorce, any gifts made to your ex-spouse within your Will shall fail. Whilst on the surface this sounds like the ideal outcome, it is not guaranteed that this failed gift will pass to the person you would have chosen. It is therefore key to review and, if necessary, update your Will following a divorce.
If you wish to prepare a Will or require advice on an existing Will, we at Fisher Jones Greenwood are here to help. Please call us on 01206 700113 or email [email protected] for further information.
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