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When should you make or update your will?

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When should you make or update your will?
As you move through life your circumstances change, as do the potential risks and complications when you pass away.
You should consider making a new will:
  • when you have an unmarried partner who should inherit from your estate.
  • when you get married, and your old will is invalidated (in England and Wales) or doesn't include your new spouse (in Scotland).
  • When you have a child so that you can appoint a guardian.
  • When you buy a property or receive a large windfall.
  • If you get divorced, as your previous will won't automatically be invalidated.
  • When you want to make provisions for step-children, foster children or dependents.
  • If your spouse passes away, and your previous will left the estate to them.
Three ladies of various ages smiling, in hats and scarfs, sitting on a beach eating chips
Not only is it important to write your will, but you should also consider keeping it up to date. As your circumstances change, your wishes and the people you care about may well do as well. If this is the case, then it might be worth starting from scratch and writing a new will.
However, for smaller changes, you may want to consider a Codicil which allows you to make a simple alteration to your existing will. Such changes might include:
  • One of your executors dies and you need to appoint a new one
  • You want to leave money to someone not mentioned in your existing will
  • You change your mind about who should look after your children
There are no limits to the number of Codicils you can have. But if you have more than one, it might be better to make a new will.
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