Partner and Head of our private client department, Akilah McEwen, answers some of the most frequently asked questions regarding your will.
Why should I make a Will?
- You can choose who you would like to administer your estate
- You can leave your estate to whomever you choose
- You can appoint a guardian to take care of your children
- You can ensure your Will is tax efficient
- When there is a Will to follow, it makes the estate administration more straightforward
Who can make a Will?
- Anyone over the age of 18 with sufficient capacity
- Anyone under the age of 18 in the armed forces in special circumstances
If I get married or enter into a civil partnership what effect does this have on my Will?
Marriage/Civil partnership revokes a Will unless the Will has been made in contemplation of said marriage/civil partnership and refers to such event.
If I get divorced what effect does that have on my Will?
The Will is read as though your spouse/civil partner died before you. Divorce does not revoke the Will.
If I have property abroad can I mention it in my UK Will?
It is best practice to have a Will in any country that you own land/property. Some countries have very strict rules about how your estate must devolve if you own land so it is always best to take advice from a lawyer in the country where land is owned. However, be clear to the lawyer if you have an existing Will in the UK so they don’t accidentally cause you to revoke your UK Will. They must be very careful with the wording of their Will.
Once I have made my Will can I change it?
Yes you can change your Will at any time as long as you have sufficient capacity to do so. Your Will is ambulatory, it walks with you through life until the time comes where it will need to be used. To change your Will you can either execute a new Will or you can amend your Will by executing a separate document known as a Codicil.