Many people do not want to think about making a Will because they just don’t want to think anything bad can happen to them. Now, let’s change a point of view. We need to remember that the only way to make sure that your loved ones can be properly protected in the event you pass away is when you, but not the intestacy rules, decide who gets what.
If you really love your family you would not want them to wait long months for granting probate at the hardest time in their life, making a Will ensures your estate passes through probate process quickly and to the persons appointed by you in proportions you decided.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A WILL IN PLACE AND REVIEW IT REGULARLY?
I am about to marry
Weddings usually don’t occur at short notice, so it is sensible to factor in a will update soon before/after the big day because any ‘pre-marriage will’ is automatically revoked once the marriage takes place. Many fresh married couple rather think about honey moon and are too busy to make a new will straight after the ceremony.
Therefore you may include a special clause in your will before the marriage, specifically stating that the will is NOT to be revoked if their impending marriage to their intended named spouse takes place. In this case, the ‘pre-marriage will’ is NOT revoked when the subsequent marriage to that named spouse happens. This can be referred to as a will made ‘in contemplation’ of marriage or civil partnership.
I've just got married
When you marry, any existing will is automatically revoked (cancelled) and becomes no longer valid. If you do not make a new one, then when you die the law of intestacy decides how your assets are divided. Without a new will your new married spouse would receive nothing.
I am married
Without a Will your spouse or civil partner may not automatically inherit all of your estate.
Without a Will the law treats you both as single and your partner would receive nothing.
I have children from a previous relationship
If you are now married, children from a previous relationship may inherit nothing.
Most people do not want the ‘ex’, or soon to be ‘ex’, to inherit. However, advice should be taken as to the effect of excluding a spouse in a new will when the couple are separated but not yet legally divorced. This is because the excluded spouse could still make a claim against the deceased spouse’s estate for reasonable financial provision if the spouse dies before the pair divorce.
In England and Wales, if a person gets divorced, ie once the decree absolute is granted, then any will they have already made is NOT automatically revoked by the divorce. It exists and is still valid. However, the effect of the divorce does change the way the former spouse is treated in law.
These changes affect any gifts to the surviving spouse or the appointment of them as executors under the existing will. This is because in law, an ex-spouse is, on divorce, treated as having died before the deceased, so any gifts to that ex-spouse as a beneficiary fail and so does any appointment of them as executor.
I am a property owner
You should specify who you wish to inherit or live in your property after you have passed away and consider protecting your share against possible care costs.
I have new grandchildren
You may want to add your new grandchild to your Will so they inherit something directly from you.
I don't want the state to decide who inherits from me!