When should I make a (new) will?

If you’re organised enough to have made a will, congratulations! Having a will is one of the most important things you can do, especially if you have assets and children. However, what many people don’t realise is that, if any changes take place in your life or to your family, that will might well need updating. As we move through life, our circumstances could change, affecting what might happen when we die. Here are some reasons why you might need to make a new will:

  • If you have an unmarried partner who you wish to inherit from your estate
  • If you get married and an old will becomes invalidated
  • When a child is born and you wish to appoint a legal guardian
  • Should you inherit or buy a property or are lucky enough to receive a windfall
  • In the event of a divorce, your old will might not be automatically invalidated
  • You have step-children or foster children whom you wish to inherit part of your estate
  • If a spouse dies and an existing will left the estate to them

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If a person passes away without a will or an invalidated one, that person’s estate is divided up according to the laws of intestacy. What this means is that loved ones have little or no say over what happens to or receives from that estate. Get help with information on making a will with a Solicitor Gloucester like deeandgriffin.co.uk

For those with children, making a will is incredibly important. It is normally the last thing on people’s mind as they’re busy getting to grips with the trials and tribulations of parenthood. However, should any happen while children are under the age of 18, a will means the parents can choose who they wish to act as a guardian for their child/ren.

How do you know if a will isn’t valid?

If a will hasn’t been signed or witnessed properly, it will be considered as invalid. Two witnesses are required for people living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and these witnesses must be present in the room when the will is signed. The witnesses don’t have to have any special standing, they simply need to agree to witness the signing, although they shouldn’t have any personal interest in the will (such as be a beneficiary or due to receive any gifts) or this could invalidate it.  A person must be over 18 to make a will.

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For those in Scotland, anyone over the age of 12 can write a will and normally only one witness is needed. In some circumstances, even a will with no witness can still be considered as valid.

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