Wills – review, revise, revisit

15 February, 2018
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

There’s no time for the ‘January Blues’ in the Advisory team at Cripps Pemberton Greenish, as we have just concluded our busiest month of the financial year so far.

Whether it was the annual family ski trip that led to panic about updating Wills, the conversation over Christmas lunch that got people thinking about estate planning or New Year’s resolutions which encouraged people to get their affairs in order, there are good reasons to review Wills regularly such as…..  

Increase or diversification in assets

Where your estate has changed in value over the years, or you have acquired a more diverse range of assets, it may be worthwhile to consider your tax planning options.

You may for example have assets that meet the criteria for an inheritance tax relief such as agricultural property relief or business property relief. Or you may have assets that have significantly appreciated in value. In all such instances, you should take advice from a solicitor who can take you through your tax planning options.

Changes to your personal circumstances

Your Will reflects your wishes at the date it was written and your circumstances and wishes may have since changed. For example, you may already have provided financial assistance to some of the beneficiaries named in your Will by way of lifetime gift and may want to even things up or your chosen executors may no longer be suitable.

Your views may have also changed or you may have retired, experienced the breakdown of a relationship, married or become a parent since last writing your Will. All of these changes should prompt you to reconsider your Will.

Questions you may wish to ask yourself:

  • Does my existing Will provide for children born after the date of my Will?
  • Do I have children under 18 and if so have I appointed a guardian?
  • Do my executors have the time or skills required to administer my estate?
  • Have I married since writing my Will? If so, your Will will be revoked unless made in contemplation of that marriage.
  • Is my pension nomination up to date?

Changes to legislation

There have been a number of changes in legislation in recent years which may prompt you to revisit your Will. For example, if your Will contains a Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trust, the introduction of the transferable nil rate band and the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) may mean that such trusts are no longer necessary and that your Wills are not as tax efficient as they could be.  For more information on the RNRB, read our blog here.

If you would like more information on any of the issues mentioned in this blog, or would like to discuss your existing Will or to make any changes please contact Anna Ridley on 01892 506151 or anna.ridley@crippspg.co.uk.