When should I update my will?

Any financial planner will tell you that your will is a vitally important element of your financial plan.

Once you sign this legally binding document, you can take control and ensure your assets will be secure.

But simply writing a will isn’t enough, as your circumstances can change dramatically.

So when do you think you should update your will?

If you get married:
Update your will if you get married or enter a civil partnership, ensuring your new spouse or partner can inherit everything you want to leave them when you pass away.

If you get divorced:
You need to update your will to remove any references to your ex-partner.

This is important if you move into a new relationship after ending your marriage, but don’t remarry. If you die, your new partner won’t have any automatic right to inherit your assets.

That’s still the case even if you cohabit with your new partner for many years and have children together. In this scenario, your ex will still have a legal claim to your estate.

Are you Cohabitating-Now the fastest growing family type-read more here

Read guidance on managing your finances on a breakup

Estrangement from a loved one:
If you fall out with a close family member who is mentioned in your will, you may need to update your will to remove them as a beneficiary

If this happens, it’s essential to update your will accordingly so there aren’t any family conflicts further down the line.

Having a child:
The birth of a child is the perfect opportunity to revise your will so you can safeguard their financial future in the event of your passing away.

A change in your financial circumstances:
Your financial situation could change dramatically without warning, perhaps because you’ve received an inheritance or windfall. Or maybe you’ve moved into a job with a much higher salary.

These changes could significantly affect how you plan to distribute your assets after your death.

For example, if you have a much larger estate, you might be more likely to consider leaving some of your wealth to a charity or good cause.

Buying a property:
You own your most valuable asset when you buy a property, so make provision for your home in your will so you can pass it on to your chosen beneficiary if you are on the housing ladder.

It’s been a long time since you wrote your will:
Even if you haven’t experienced any of the above events, it’s still a good idea to regularly review so you can be 100 per cent sure it’s accurate and relevant in the here and now.

Various laws may affect how your inheritance can be distributed:
An out-of-date will can significantly complicate matters and lead to entirely avoidable conflicts and potentially costly legal disputes.

So, if it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your will or gone through significant life events in recent years, don’t delay updating it. After all, you never know when it might be needed.

Don’t wait – take the time to review your will today to ensure that your wishes are met.