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Richard Stone  

Solicitor, Private Client

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Don’t let writing your will be a failed resolution

 

Article date:  22/12/2016

Statistics suggest that only around 10 per cent of adults stick to a New Year's resolutions past the first two months.

With the festive season now upon us, a leading Midlands law firm is urging revellers to make some practical new year's resolutions which actually stand a chance of being kept.

Richard Stone, a solicitor in Higgs & Sons' Private Client department, says that personal circumstances can change dramatically over the course of 12 months, and that the New Year is a perfect time to review your situation and put in plans for the year ahead.

Richard explains: "The start of a new year is a time to look back at what has gone and look ahead at what's to come, making it the perfect time to review your financial planning - especially your will and wealth planning."

Higgs' private client team has put together five key points to consider when assessing whether your existing will is still suitable, still relevant and still properly reflects your wishes.

Have there been any changes to your marital status? Marriage or civil partnership automatically revokes your will unless it is made with that event in mind. On separation or divorce a spouse will benefit under your existing will until the final order is granted.

Have there been any changes to your family? New children or grandchildren may not be included in your existing will. Have you provided for minors financially and appointed guardians or considered whether wealth will stay within the family if adult children enter new relationships?

Do you wish to change the executors? Are the executors you named still willing and able to take on the role and do you still want them? You may wish to appoint new executors.

Are the beneficiaries the same? You may wish to include new beneficiaries, exclude existing ones or change specific gifts to people or organisations. Are any specific assets mentioned in your existing will no longer owned by you? Do you wish to change the way in which your estate is distributed?

Do you own a property or assets that you want to preserve the value of for your family? Planning opportunities exist through your will, which you may not have previously considered. This may be to provide for long-term care or to pass assets tax efficiently to the next generation.

Richard concludes: "If any of these points apply to your circumstances, you should consider contacting us to review your will and lasting power of attorney.

View all articles for 2016

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