What Happens if Your Will is Out of Date?

Jun 20, 2022 | Wills

Half of Wills in the UK are out of date!

Research done on behalf of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) has found that almost half of UK adults who have a Will have not updated it for more than five years.
SFE is a national association of independent lawyers who specialise in legal matters for the elderly and vulnerable. They understand the difficulties that can arise when people do not leave an up to date Will and commissioned the report to assess the extent of the problem.

Their study found that 47% of those with Wills had not updated it in the recommended five-year period. It also uncovered the following:
• Only 44% of those questioned realised that without a Will, the law will decide who inherits their estate
• Only 33% understood that a couple who are living together but who are not married or in a civil partnership will not inherit each other’s assets
• Only 34% knew that their spouse or civil partner would not automatically inherit their full estate if they did not leave a Will

What happens if your Will is out of date?

If you do not check your Will regularly, there is a risk that your estate might not pass to your loved ones in the way that you want.
For example, difficulties are likely to arise in the following situations:
• Your chosen executor is no longer able to take on the role
• Someone named in the Will, such as an executor, trustee, guardian or beneficiary, has died
• You have married since you made your Will
• You have divorced since you made your Will
• Your financial circumstances have changed since you made your Will
• A beneficiary is facing a divorce
• A beneficiary is bankrupt
• You are in a new relationship
• You have had a child since you made your Will

What happens if your Will is no longer fit for purpose?

Where a Will has become outdated, it could make the estate much harder to administer or it might mean that your loved ones miss out on the inheritance you would have liked them to have.
If your executor cannot take on the role, perhaps because they are unwell or have died, your beneficiaries will have to work out who is entitled to act in their place. There is a risk that this could cause a disagreement if people have different opinions about who should take on the role of dealing with your estate.
If you have married since you made your Will, it will automatically be invalid and your estate is said to be intestate. It will pass in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy. This does not mean that your spouse will automatically inherit everything. If you have children, you may find that they would inherit much less under the Rules than you would have liked them to.
If you have divorced, then anything bequeathed to your former spouse in your Will is no longer left to them. This could mean that part or all of your estate is intestate and again, it would pass under the Rules of Intestacy.
Where one of your chosen beneficiaries is facing a divorce or bankruptcy, you may want to take steps to protect any assets you are leaving them. Otherwise, these could be taken in a divorce settlement or pass straight to the trustee in bankruptcy.

Reviewing your Will

It is recommended that a Will is reviewed at least once every three to five years as well as in the light of any major life changes. These include marriage, the birth of a child, buying a home, divorcing or a change in your financial circumstances.

Contact us

If you would like to speak to one of our expert Wills lawyers, ring us on 01252 268862 or email us at marie@mgfwills.co.uk

Or, if you’d rather arrange a face to face appointment:

Hannah Dunmall
Hannah Dunmall
04/03/2021
Verified
I would highly recommend MGF. Marie guided us kindly and professionally from the first initial phone call to the final signing. She provided an un-pressured, user friendly service, that was very personal and efficient. We were very ignorant around the whole subject of wills and lasting powers of attorney, but Marie always made us feel that no question was a stupid one, and gave her time and attention to ensure we understood all that was involved. We have peace of mind now that we have everything in order, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Marie.
Nicole Falleur
Nicole Falleur
26/02/2021
Verified
I found this lady's business on an online search for a local will writer / solicitor for my Mother & I to write our wills after having not so positive experiences with previous companies we'd tried & Mum preferred to relate to a lady & I found that she was in our area & the only 1 who had 100% 5* Star ratings from all her customers who'd left reviews ! So we contacted her & went from there ! 🙂 We could not have found or wished for anyone better ! She offers such a personal service & is so easy to communicate with & is very knowledgeable & goes "the extra mile", nothing seems too much trouble & despite being a very busy woman, she gives as many extra hours of her time as her clients need & she does it all at a set fee ! She does not charge extra add on, additional charges for every hour, phonecall, Zoom call, visit, paperwork she does for you, she keeps to the very competitive price she quoted at the outset, which we found most unusual & refreshingly nice & welcome & very much appreciated indeed, no hidden charges or fear of nasty, frightening financial surprises ! She is such a very lovely person, personable, natural & relaxed to deal with, competent & efficient, keeps her word & punctual, doesn't let you down. We couldn't find better & she truly exceeded our expectations & we will use her again as she offers multiple legal services as listed on her website. Thank you Marie !
Victoria Shortland
Victoria Shortland
26/02/2021
Verified
Fabulous service from MGF Wills and Estate Planning. Marie was very helpful and answered our many many questions very patiently! I felt that Marie really knows her stuff and is very reasonably priced. Highly recommended.
Mr Clive Wills
Mr Clive Wills
12/02/2021
Verified
My wife and I had Mirror Wills drawn up. Marie was very professional, friendly and excellent communication throughout. She talked us through all aspects of wills. A very straightforward process and job done promptly. Completed in a Covid safe way. We would definitely recommend MGF.
Lissy Evett
Lissy Evett
11/02/2021
Verified
My objective was to find a good and affordable Will writing service that could accommodate me in a timely manner. I found all of those things with Marie Forkner, from the MGF Wills & Estate Planning Service. Great customer service, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. I highly recommend MGF Wills & Estate Planning Service. Excellent!
Kerry Davis
Kerry Davis
01/02/2021
Verified
Please do not hesitate in using MGF Wills. Excellent, knowledgeable service with unbiased advice and guidance. Look no further for your future planning needs. Highly recommended to anyone considering Will writing/storage etc. Wouldn’t hesitate recommending to friends and family A*.
Doug
Doug
24/01/2021
Verified
We would highly recommend MGF Wills. We had a will made last year. Marie was thorough, patient and willing to answer all our questions. There was no pressure put on us. Pricing was clear from the start. Highly recommended.
Carruthers Family
Carruthers Family
20/01/2021
Verified
Friendly advise & clear directions making completing our 1st Wills very straight forward. Have already recommended to a friend. It didn’t matter that it was all completed over the phone rather than face to face.
Mark C
Mark C
18/01/2021
Verified
Great service, competitively priced and quick turn around time. Marie explained everything clearly and was very knowledgeable. Would definitely recommend.
Mark Smith
Mark Smith
13/01/2021
Verified
Marie drew up the wills for my partner and I. She was professional and accommodating throughout the entire process. Everything was explained clearly and there was no such thing as a silly question. She even took the time to walk us through the signing process with our neighbours! We would thoroughly recommend Marie and will be using her in future if and when we need to update our wills.