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Before I became a mum, I had a career as a Legacy Fundraiser for Cancer Research UK. I would frequently give talks about the importance of making a Will. Yet, it always shocked me how few people actually had a Will. Or if they did have a Will then it was very rare for it to be up to date.
As a parent, there is always an endless list of life administration to take care of. From booking doctor and dentist appointments to signing permission slips for school. But one piece of admin that most of us overlook is making a Will and ensuring that it’s valid and up to date.
Luckily, the Wills experts at Ellison Thomas solicitors have answered some of the most common questions asked about Wills. Read on to find out more!
How To Make Sure Your Will Is Up To Date
What Is A Will And Why Do You Need One?
A Will is a legal document that sets out what you want to happen to your finances, possessions and assets after you die. If you have children, your Will is likely to also set out what you’d like to happen to them, and who has legal responsibility for them moving forward.
Writing your Will with the help of a solicitor will make sure that you don’t miss out any important details. Wills need to be properly signed and witnessed by two independent witnesses. A solicitor can verify that this has actually happened correctly.
Dying without a Will means that your relatives and the courts will decide what happens to your finances and assets. They will even decide what happens to your children. And the result may not necessarily be what you had wanted.
Is Your Will Valid?
If you’ve already written a Will, it’s worth making a few simple checks to see if it is still valid. If not, you’ll have to update it, or make a new Will entirely.
Change of Address
People often wonder if their Will is still valid if they now live at a different address from the one written on their Will. Not to worry – no matter where you live now, your Will is still valid!
If you make a Will prior to getting married, it will not be valid after you say I do. You’ll need to create a new Will and ensure it is properly signed and witnessed to make sure that your wishes for after death are legally set out.
If you get divorced, your Will is still valid. The only difference is that whatever you left to your ex-partner will no longer be given to them. Instead, it will be split between any other beneficiaries in your Will. Or, if you’ve left any instructions on how to proceed if you get divorced then these will be followed.
Age of Will
If your Will is gathering dust in a drawer somewhere, you don’t need to worry about it expiring or going out of date. Unless you update it or make a new one entirely then your Will remains valid indefinitely.
I hope that this simple guide has answered any questions you had about Wills. No one likes to think about death but it is vital to have a Will to ensure that you’re all set for whatever the future may hold.
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