A semi-retired man had a Will in place, however it was very out of date.  It provided for his estate to be left to charities, and hadn’t taken into account his new partner, as they weren’t in a relationship when he made his Will.

The man had said to his partner many times that he wished to update his Will. Unfortunately, he passed away without doing so. This meant that his estate was dealt with under the terms of his old Will (with his partner having to follow a complicated process of making a claim on his estate).

These kinds of situations can result in your estate being dealt with in a manner which you did not intend at the time of your death. It highlights the importance of regularly updating your Will.

How do you go about updating your Will?  Here’s a general guide:

  • Firstly, it is important to have a clear mind about the changes you would like to make. We recommend writing these down briefly to keep things in order.
  • Next, contact your lawyer and communicate the changes you would like to make to them.
  • Your lawyer will then review your current Will and consider whether it is more efficient to draft an entirely new Will, or create a codicil (a document which changes the Will).  They will also advise on whether the changes are possible from a legal perspective and may suggest other protections or options for you.
  • Your lawyer will then finalise the new document and meet with you to have your Will signed. To ensure your Will is signed correctly and considered valid, it will need to be signed in the presence of two independent witnesses.

Navigating the Will-making or updating process can be a bit daunting for some people, which is why it is always important to seek independent legal advice to guide you.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Andie Donnelly and Raiyan Azmi