When to Produce a Will

It is essential that you produce a will as soon as possible. If you leave it, there is a chance that you may never get around to doing it and may be reliant upon the state doing it for you. There is also the chance that you will leave a situation where people start to contest your possessions, fight amongst each other and fall out.

There are many things to consider when you decide to produce a will. As a person gets older, chances are that he or she will become wealthier. Savings grow, endowments increase, insurance policies become more valuable, property is purchased and so on. A bank balance in itself is no indicator of worth, as there are many other elements which add up to wealth.

Changes in personal circumstances often justify the need to make a will. Examples include:

Ownership of property
Children
Marriage or remarriage
Employment
Illness
Divorce and separation
Increase in personal wealth, such as an inheritance

Ownership of property

Ownership of property usually implies a mortgage. If you are wise it will also imply life insurance to at least the value of the property. It is very prudent to make a will which specifies exactly to whom the property will be left. If you do not have a will, the law of intestacy will provide the decision for you.

Children

Under the law of intestacy, any children you have will benefit after your death. However, it is very sensible, under a will, to specify how and when they will benefit. It could be that you may let someone else make that decision later on. Whatever the decision, you should state it very clearly in your will.

Marriage or Remarriage

The most important point to remember is that marriage or remarriage will automatically revoke the provisions of any former will, although it is not the case in Scotland. Therefore, when marrying you should make certain that you will is up to date and that you have altered provisions. In short, you should amend your will, or produce a new will in order to outline clearly what you want your new partner to have.

Employment

You should be very aware of certain types of employment carry greater risks than others. This will necessitate producing a will as soon as possible if you are in a high-risk category then you need to ensure that those nearest to you are provided for.

Illness

Illness is something that none of us want but cannot avoid if it decides to strike. No matter how healthy you are you should take this into account when considering putting together a will. In addition, some people have a family history of illness and chances are that they too could suffer. Therefore illness is a very real motivator for producing a will.

Divorce and separation

The law of intestacy states that if you die your divorced spouse loses all rights to your estate. You may not want this to happen and make provisions in your will. Although children of any marriage will benefit it could be that you may wish to make slightly different provisions for different children.

Increase in personal wealth

Financial success, and inheritance will increase your wealth and inevitably make your estate more complicated. It is absolutely essential to ensure that you have a will and that you are updating it regularly to take into account increased assets.