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44 per cent of over 50’s review their Wills multiple times

A YouGov survey has revealed that 44 per cent of over-50s have changed their Will several times due to the complexities of modern family relationships.

Typically, people will review and change their Wills when their personal or family circumstances change; marriage, divorce, the birth of children or grandchildren, retirement or the death of a spouse or partner.  A change of financial circumstances can also have the same effect; an inheritance perhaps, a lump sum from a pension fund on retirement or a wealth and tax review carried out by a financial adviser.

Marrying for a second time can change the family dynamics with stepchildren to be provided for, or cohabitation can introduce its own considerations of what provision should be made and how best to provide it.

Parents of a disabled child will invariably want to make special provision for that child in terms of his or her future welfare and appropriate financial provision.

A parent might wish to alter their Will to make better or preferential provision for a son or daughter who has made special sacrifices to care for them in later life.

Solicitors will, however, advise their clients to review their Will and tax position every 3 to 5 years just to make sure that everything is as it should be and still correctly reflects their wishes.

The survey results revealed 26 per cent of over 50s have not written a Will at all, which leaves their assets to pass under the intestacy rules. This can result in estates passing otherwise than as the deceased would have wished. In these some extreme circumstances, this can lead to claims going to court or even worse, assets being left to the State.

Just as many problems can arise from an out of date Will, as can occur without a Will at all.

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Linsey Graham
I have worked for Mander Hadley for 17 years and specialise in Wills, trusts, tax, probate and the administration of estates.

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