New Year, new you? Why it might be a good time to write a will.

There is no denying that 2020 is a year which will go down in history – for many reasons. The global pandemic, Brexit, and the fallout from these events has had a significant impact on many areas of our lives. These events may have far-reaching implications for your finances, your relationships and your business interests. As a result, the new year could be an excellent time to write a will or to review your existing will. In this article, I will take a look at some of the things you should consider.

Have you made a will?

Recent research by Royal London determined that 54% of UK adults do not have a will. This includes 59% of parents who either do not have a will or have one that does not accurately reflect their wishes. If you have not made a will, you have no control over what happens to your assets after you pass away. If you have children, own property, have savings or investments, or run a business, making a will is particularly important.

Does your will still accurately reflect your wishes?

If your circumstances have changed this year, you should update your will to reflect those changes. Perhaps you have changed career, moved home, got married or divorced, or welcomed a new baby to the family. In any of these circumstances, you should update your will to ensure it is reflective of your current situation.

Do you need to change your beneficiaries or executors?

Many people need to change the people who are named in their will for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you have outlived executors or beneficiaries named on your will, or maybe the relationship has deteriorated. In this case, you would need to replace them in your will to avoid complications in the event of your death.

Have your business interests changed?

This year has been challenging for businesses. With adjustments to lockdown restrictions, some businesses may have flourished while others have struggled. If your business interests have changed significantly, now might be a good time to review both your will and your succession plan for your business.

Do you wish to take advantage of Inheritance Tax planning?

It is always advisable to review your will and estate regularly in line with current tax legislation, reliefs and opportunities to save on Inheritance Tax. Reviewing your affairs can be a great way to start the year. It allows you to understand where you are financially, and to effectively make plans for the future, knowing that your will is up to date.

To discuss this, or any other related matter, please call Claire Gray on 01483 887766, email us or start a live chat today.

*This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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Claire Gray

Senior Solicitor, Trusts & Estates

A Senior Solicitor based in Guildford, Claire joined Hart Brown in 2020 with over 5 years’ post-qualification experience. Claire enjoys advising clients on a range...

Senior Solicitor, Trusts & Estates

Claire Gray

A Senior Solicitor based in Guildford, Claire joined Hart Brown in 2020 with over 5 years’ post-qualification experience. Claire enjoys advising clients on a range of Private Client matters including:-

• drafting wills (both simple and complex)
• probate and the administration of estates (both taxable and non-taxable)
• the creation and administration of trusts including those for the protection of vulnerable beneficiaries
• the creation and use of powers of attorney and Court of Protection matters
• general lifetime tax and succession planning for family wealth

Claire works closely with our Property and Family teams and also clients’ investment and accountancy advisers when needed to provide a holistic approach.

Claire is committed to providing timely and straightforward legal advice and is regularly praised by her clients for her personable and empathetic approach.

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