5 small things that can cause big problems for your current Will

Anybody who has written a Will can tell you the peace of mind that this simple document can bring about. But do you have a false peace of mind with your Will?

Here are five things to watch out for:

1) Has your Will been witnessed by two independent people who were both together when you signed the Will? One common problem is where a witness is married to one of the beneficiaries, causing that beneficiary to miss out on anything they have been left in the Will.

2) Is there a date on your Will? While not strictly necessary under the law, this can cause confusion and expense at probate, particularly if a previous Will is still in existence.

3) Have you amended anything on the Will since you write it? This could make the Will invalid, or at the very least is likely to be very problematic when it comes to probate and increase stress for the family at the worst time.

4) Have you sold an item which you have bequeathed in the Will? Under the doctrine of ‘ademption’ this means the recipient of that gift will receive nothing – they don’t receive a sum of money in place of the gift.

5) Have any beneficiaries moved since you write the Will, and more importantly will the Executors be able to locate them easily? If not this can incur massive costs which must be paid from somewhere…

If any of these points are a problem for you, a rewrite of your Will is probably the best solution. Why not call us on 01473 358195 to book a consultation at home or in our offices?

Stephen Wilkes

Head of Estate Planning

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