Research commissioned by Solicitors For the Elderly (SFE) has revealed that over half (51%) of people living in the Midlands who have a will haven't updated it for more than five years, meaning nearly half of wills made in the area are likely to be out-of-date. Of those, over a third (35%) haven’t updated it for over 7 years, and over a fifth (22%) haven't dusted it off in more than a decade.
Having an up-to-date and well drafted will is crucial in ensuring your wishes are carried out in the way you’d like when you die.
We recommend that a will be reviewed and updated every five years, or when a major change in your life occurs that impacts you or your loved ones, such as divorce, marriage, a new birth or even death in the family. SFE’s research has revealed that almost a third (31%) of people in the midlands with a will have had significant changes to their lives and circumstances since they drafted it.
An unchecked and outdated will could cause severe implications for your loved ones after death – including missed inheritances and higher inheritance tax fees: “Many people assume that once you have drafted a will you don’t ever have to review it, and that your wishes will be carried out as you wish them to be posthumously – but unfortunately, that’s far from true.
“If you remarry, for example, your will gets revoked. Or if you marry into a family and have stepchildren that you’d like to inherit your assets – this won’t happen automatically unless you stipulate it in a new will. All these details are crucial to avoid family disputes – which we know can be very distressing for your loved ones.”
In fact, SFE’s research revealed that:
● Only 16% of brits realise that remarrying invalidates a will.
● Less than a third (31%) of people realise stepchildren won't be included in your will unless you stipulate that separately.
● 17% of people wrongly think you can update your will by making changes on the original document and initialling them.
The findings have also revealed that 54% of people in the Midlands don’t have a will in place at all – a worryingly steep figure.One in ten British families (11%) have been caught out by a ‘bad will’ – a will that is out of date or badly drafted – for example missing out on inheritance or their childhood home being sold without their knowledge.
It’s great to see that many people living in the Midlands have a will in place – but we need to see a higher will uptake, and for those that have a will in place, it’s paramount that they review these frequently.
If you would like to review your will, call our team today on 01827 317070
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.