COVID-19 – The importance of updating your Will

The current coronavirus outbreak is an obvious concern for many, and the unfortunate reality of the situation is that some of those people who will die as a result of the virus will not have made a Will.

A recent report found that the demand for Wills has increased by 30 per cent, a key indication that many are now thinking about estate planning.

For those that do not have a Will, there is the risk that their final wishes may not be communicated. In the UK, individuals can leave their estates to whomever they choose, except for in certain situations where the person making the Will lacked the necessary capacity, or where an eligible party applies for reasonable financial provision to the court.

You must consider whether or not you or a family member need to make a Will or update an existing Will to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

Consideration will have to be given to several aspects, including the following:

  • What assets are owned and debts due?
  • Is the family home owned in one or both of your names?
  • Does the money in joint bank accounts belong to you both equally?
  • Are there children from a first marriage or relationship to consider?
  • Is there an adult child you would like to provide for or exclude entirely?
  • Is there a better way to arrange your affairs for tax purposes?
  • Do you want to make charitable gifts?
  • Do you want a provision that a beneficiary who challenges your Will forfeits their gift?
  • Are you sufficiently capacitated to make a Will?

You may also need to consider whether a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is necessary for you or a loved one to ensure that provisions are in place should you lose the capability to make important decisions.

For help and advice on matters relating to Wills and LPAs, contact our expert team today.

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