Wills and Codicils
Why is it important that I make a valid and updated Will NOW?
By making a Will you ensure that your estate goes to the people you want to benefit after your death. If you die Intestate ie without a Will your spouse / partner may not automatically inherit your property and your children might not be provided for as you want.
A Will allows you to appoint the person you want to raise your minor children. Without a Will the court may appoint a family member of their choosing or a State appointed guardian to do this.
If you are still married but not yet divorced and have a valid Will, the existing provisions will apply which may pass your estate to your partner and appoint them as executor. Do you want that?
If you are married but not yet divorced without a Will, the Intestacy rules will apply. By this your existing spouse will inherit everything if you have no children. If you do have children your existing spouse still inherits the first £250,000 of your estate.
If you are divorced then on the date of the decree absolute, for the purposes of any existing Will your Spouse or Civil Partner is deemed to have died and as such cannot benefit from the Will. You should make a new Will to ensure that your current circumstances are taken care of.
If you own property and in a relationship whether married or otherwise you should seek legal advice on how best to deal with the legal ownership to ensure that you both maximise tax allowances for the survivor and that your wishes are fully carried out. This can also be done by way of setting up a Trust.
In short if you make a Will and update it as your circumstances change or are about to change you can be confident that on your death your wishes will be carried out exactly as you want.
If you only need to make a small amendment to your Will provisions this can be done by way of a Codicil which is a note attached to the Will and forms part of it. This is a cheaper option than re writing a Will and we can advise you if it is appropriate to cover your instructions.