Articles

  • March 2015
    Reviewing your will


    When I advise clients to review their Wills regularly, they may think that I am touting for business, but that is not so as it is vitally important that you consider the contents of your Will every few years.  Although the document may provide for certain eventualities such as the death of a beneficiary during your lifetime, it cannot provide for all unexpected occurrences. Sometimes your circumstances or wishes change in a way that you do not anticipate.

    I have recently encountered several difficulties involving Wills which have not been reviewed and as a result, did not accord with the deceased’s wishes at the time of his death.  One client’s Will appointed his parents as his Executors although they were elderly and could have been replaced by his children.  Another’s Will appointed the partners of a firm of solicitors who he no longer instructed.One lady’s Will made more than twenty-five years ago left money legacies, the value of which were worth much less in real terms at the date of her death than when the Will was made, notwithstanding the fact that the value of her estate had quadrupled in the intervening period.  Another lady left a share of her estate to her brother who died before her and her family expressed surprise that this did not automatically pass to his children.
     
    Wills which were originally made in a tax efficient manner need to be reviewed.  Those which left substantial legacies to children or incorporated Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trusts before October 2007 when it became possible to transfer Inheritance Tax free allowances between spouses may no longer be appropriate. 
     
    You should not put off a Will review.  You never know what the future holds.  One of my clients who had a terminal illness knew that he wanted to make substantial changes to his Will but wanted to give further thought to the matter.  Unfortunately, he died before he concluded his considerations!
     
    At Jackamans, Felixstowe Office Carol Lockett has over thirty years’ experience in preparing Wills and Trusts.  She will discuss your requirements with you and point out any potential problems and advice as to how best to reduce them.  If you would like her to review your existing Will free of charge please contact Ruth Davey on (01394) 279636 or by email to carol.lockett@jackamans.co.uk or ruth.davey@jackamans.co.uk.

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