Skip to main content

Why you should update your will

Only 56% of UK adults have updated their will in the last five years, meaning around half of wills are out of date

Why should a will be updated?

Research commissioned by Solicitors For The Elderly in 2022 revealed that only 56% of UK adults have updated their will in the last five years, meaning around half of wills are out of date.

It also showed that half of UK adults have experienced a life changing event, such as getting married, divorced, or having a child since last updating their will.

How often should a will be reviewed?

We recommend that wills are reviewed and updated at least every three years, or when a major change occurs that impacts you or your loved ones.

How to update your will?

If you want to make minor changes to an existing Will, it may be possible for you to prepare a codicil.

What is a codicil to a will?

A codicil is a formal legal document which amends parts of your existing Will. It needs to be signed and witnessed in the same way as a Will for it to be effective.

For all major changes, you should make a new Will.

Can I change my will without a solicitor?

If you wish to make a will yourself, you can do so but you should only consider doing this if the will is going to be extremely straightforward. It is always advisable to use a solicitor to make sure the Will has the effect you want and so that you have considered all factors that are relevant to your estate planning in choosing the most appropriate Will structure. 

Can an attorney appointed under a registered Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney change a will?

An attorney appointed under a registered Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney cannot change the terms of your Will. An attorney can apply to the Court of Protection for a Statutory Will to be executed on your behalf but this has to be approved by the court before it can take effect. It is extremely important to make sure that you keep your Will updated whilst you have mental capacity so that it reflects your current wishes.

How much does it cost to update your will?

The cost of preparing your Will or Codicil will vary depending on complexity. Weightmans LLP offer a no obligation meeting to discuss your requirements initially and will then provide you with a fixed fee for the preparation of your Will.

Appointing a guardian for your children

The research revealed that almost three quarters of parents in the UK have no legal guardian in place to care for their children in the event of their deaths. According to the research, parents are almost completely unaware of the risks of not identifying a legal guardian in a will; this includes the courts or social services deciding what happens to your children.

With only two out of ten parents understanding that social services or the courts can step in to decide what happens to your children if you do not have a will in place, Weightmans' Sally Cook and Lorraine Wilson are keen to raise awareness of the risks involved when a guardian is not appointed.

What should I do next?

Speak to Sally Cook or Lorraine Wilson about making changes to an existing will or creating a new one. They are both fully accredited members of SFE, a national organisation of lawyers specialising in advising people planning for later life. They will be able to provide support and guidance as you discuss your unique situation and wishes. They can also help to advise you about reducing inheritance tax.

SFE lawyers are experts in this area of law and follow a strict code of conduct which has respect and dignity at its heart. Communicating in clear, straightforward language, they are trained to make sure that you understand the importance of the decisions you are making.

Get in touch today and make sure your wishes are communicated effectively when you die. 

Book a free consultation

We offer a free consultation on any estate planning matters.

Book now

For more advice on wills and estate planning, contact our specialist wills solicitors.

Sectors and Services featured in this article