Now and then…
Heard about last year’s social media ’10-Year Challenge’ trend?
If you’re not ‘in the know’, the craze, also known as “glow-up challenge”, "2009 vs 2019" or "How Hard Did Ageing Hit You?!", involved people comparing pictures of themselves in 2009 to ones taken in 2019 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Aside from shrieks of laughter at hair, make-up and clothes, people have also found themselves thinking about how their lives have more fundamentally changed over the last 10 years.
As we rang in 2020 and the beginning of a new decade, a friend commented how she’d started the last one single, “footloose and fancy-free” and with a serious shopping habit… and ended it married (then separated), with 2 children, a mortgage, a pension and a will!
The impact of life’s changes
So, my friend has a will. Top marks!
Given recent research showing that 54% of British adults (and almost 60% of parents) don’t have a will, I was impressed!
Her planning ahead meant that, in the sad event of her death, provisions were in place for her children, plus her assets and sentimental possessions would be distributed in line with her wishes (NB. if she hadn’t done this then the laws of intestacy would be applied to decide how her assets would be divided – laws that wouldn’t necessarily reflect her wishes and could see loved ones unable to inherit).
But had she changed her will since she and her husband had separated? No.
And did she realise the impact of this? No.
In actual fact, by not changing her will in line with the changes in her life, her ex would still inherit as she’d named him as a beneficiary in her original will.
Remember that ‘Change is the only constant in life…’
… according to Heraclitus, the Greek Philospher.
And it’s true. Along with death and taxes these days, ‘change’ is the only guarantee in life.
Plus, we’re all living a lot longer in a society that is constantly evolving, so the opportunity for substantial change in our lives is greater than ever.
Some of us, like my friend, may marry, divorce and re-marry (twice or more!) which means we’re seeing a rise in ‘blended families’ and ‘silver splitters’ (divorce amongst the over 60s).
We have family feuds and/or reconciliations. We might make new friends and lose old ones. We might come into money or we might make a bad investment.
Whatever the change, it can alter how you feel about what you pass on as well as potentially have a major impact on the execution of your will.
So, it makes sense to ensure that your will always reflects your current life circumstances and wishes.
Reflect and Review
By reviewing and keeping your will up to date, you can avoid bitter family arguments or relationship rifts, reduce the grief of loved ones during a painful and difficult period, minimise the likelihood of challenges to your will and ultimately ensure that your wishes are honoured.
It’s your life, your choices, your say.
Changing your will can be very straightforward and need not cost a fortune. With ease, you can add, alter or delete parts of your will, or even create a new one if necessary.
If you’d like more information or just a quick chat about changing your will, please contact Emma Stride on 01606 48777 or pop into one of our FREE weekly Wills, Trust & Probate drop-in clinics.
This article has been written for your general information only and is not a detailed statement of the law. It should not be used as a substitute for specific legal advice. If you require specific legal advice please do not hesitate to contact us on 01606 48777.