When should I make a Will?
We often hear:
- I’m too young to think about a Will
- I don’t have time to make a Will
- I don’t have anything to leave in my Will
- My family know what I want to happen to my things when I die
- I haven’t got around to sorting my Will yet but I know I should…
So, when should you put a Will in place?
Honestly, there is no right answer, no one size fits all! Everyone’s circumstances are different and so timing will be different for everyone.
Everyone’s lives take different paths and at different ages.
Below we have set out some of the milestones that making and reviewing your Will should be considered:
Buying your first property
When most people buy a property it is usually their most valuable asset, so when buying your first property it is important to consider (among all the other considerations when taking the plunge and buying your first property!) who your property, along with all your other possessions, should be left to.
When you get married any previous Will that you may have is revoked and so is completely invalid. Once you are married, priorities change and so may your wishes in relation to your possessions so shortly after a marriage, or in contemplation of marriage, your Will should be reviewed.
If a Will is created in contemplation of a specified marriage then the said marriage will not revoke the Will, however any other marriage will revoke an existing Will.
Having a baby
Whether you have your own children, are fostering or adopting, having a child, or children, changes your life and means you are responsible for more than just yourself.
A growing family comes with so many considerations, worries and changes, not least the major question as to who you would want as the guardians of your children should you no longer be around. If guardians are not stated in a Will there is a possibility that the local authority may become involved and place the children in care whilst they decide who is best to look after your children… a worrying thought!!
Buying a new or bigger property
As we said, your property is usually your most valuable asset and so when buying any new property and with a change in financial circumstances, your Will should be a key consideration to ensure it still covers you and what you want to happen to your property and possessions.
Investing in buy-to-let properties or second homes
When investing in more property you should also consider your Will and taking advice in relation to the financial implications on the properties that you own, not only during your lifetime but also in relation to Inheritance Tax and what can be done to try and reduce this.
Investing in assets abroad
When you invest in assets abroad they may not be covered by your Will that has been made in the UK. When buying property or any other assets that will be kept in another country you should consider whether legal documentation is required in that country to cover your assets and your inheritance wishes.
So, you’ve got divorced, do you still want your property and possessions to go to your former-spouse?
Although a marriage revokes a Will, a divorce doesn’t! It is worth reviewing your Will at the end of a marriage to ensure that what you want to happen is set out in your Will…it’s unlikely that you still want your former-spouse to inherit all of your worldly assets.
As we have set out above, when you get married, whether for the first time or a subsequent marriage, any existing Will that you have in place is revoked.
You may also want to consider putting exclusions within your Will to state that any former-spouse should not benefit under your Will. You may also want to protect inheritance for children you may have had from preious relationships.
Owning a business
When you take the leap to start your own business, your financial situation will change again and you are potentially bringing more assets into your estate. Depending on the business setup you may need to take this into account within your Will. There are also tax reliefs you can utilise for businesses if planned properly.
Death of a Grandparent / Receipt of Inheritance
When you are a beneficiary under a loved one’s estate you are bringing more assets, and therefore more value, into your own estate. This is an important time to take account of the value of your estate and whether you should be taking steps to try and limit or reduce the amount of inheritance tax that may well be payable on your own estate.
When you have grandchildren, as when you have children, your family is growing again and this is another generation that you may well wish to make specific provisions for within your Will.
This is another milestone where your financial circumstances change. You may well be taking steps to consider your finances and assets and so this is the perfect opportunity to review your Will and provisions that you have set out.
Death of a Parent
This is a situation that none of us want to think about.
However, with more assets coming into your estate, the possibility of additional properties and valuables becoming your own, it is worth considering the tax implications and ensuring that your Will properly provides for your own loved ones in the way you want to.
There is never a right time to put a Will in place but as you can see there are many milestones throughout your lifetime in which your Will and future wishes should be considered and reviewed to ensure that your present Will does what you want it to.
To put a Will in place, is more simple than you think. It’s not an arduous task and we make it as simple as we possibly can.
If you would like to have a free chat about your Will, please contact us on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121
Got a Question or want to book a FREE Consultation?