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Performing an Annual Review of Your Will

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Because writing a will makes people think of the unthinkable, they tend to put it off. And then, once it is finally written and formalised, they're glad to forget about it and put it behind them.

Unfortunately, that's not such a wise idea. While it's a relief to get your will written and out of the way, you should still think about it from time to time. Hopefully, you'll be around for many years after putting your initial will together, which means things can change considerably before it ever comes into effect.

If there are sudden, significant changes in your life after making a will, you should review it immediately and make sure it's still relevant and satisfactory. Wills should reflect the most accurate information about your life. By checking over your will at least once a year, you can ensure everything is set.


If there's a new child in the family, you might want to adjust your will so they're included, especially if they have a sibling or other equivalent who is already named as a beneficiary. It might not be as simple as just adding them to a list; you'll probably need to do some reshuffling to make things fair, so sit down with a pen and some paper and work it out carefully.


There's no guarantee that you'll die before your beneficiaries, and if any of them do pass away, your will probably won't be the first thing on your mind. Make sure you check regularly that everyone named in your will is still around and able to inherit whatever you've decided to leave them.

Changes to your estate

If you've been lucky enough to come into some money or otherwise increase your estate, your will may no longer reflect what you have. It may also give you the scope to add more beneficiaries that you didn't feel could fit into your previous plan based on your available estate.

Unfortunately, things can also go the other way, and it's just as important to make adjustments if your fortunes have taken a downturn.

Changes to your relationships

If you've separated or divorced from a partner, you'll probably remember to adjust your will accordingly, but with all the stress, not everyone thinks of it. You should also take into account the changing relationships of your beneficiaries, particularly if you want to make sure an ex-partner doesn't have any legal entitlement to any aspect of your estate.