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Why You Should Review Your Will Periodically and How MDW Solicitors Can Assist

Updated: Feb 23

Review Your Will - Will Drafting Solicitors

A will is a legal document that expresses your wishes about how your estate (your money, property and possessions) should be distributed after your death. It also names the people who will be responsible for carrying out your instructions (your executors) and who will take care of your children if they are under 18 (your guardians).

Making a will is one of the most important things you can do to protect your loved ones and ensure that your legacy is honoured. However, making a will is not a one-time event. You should review your will periodically to make sure that it reflects your current situation and preferences.

There are many reasons why you may need to update your will, such as:

  • Changes in your relationships: You may get married, divorced, separated, enter a new partnership, or have a falling out with a beneficiary or an executor. These events may affect who you want to inherit from you and who you trust to manage your affairs. For example, did you know that marriage automatically cancels a will, unless it contains a specific clause to the contrary? And that divorce does not cancel a will, but only excludes your former spouse from benefiting from it?

  • Changes in your assets: You may acquire or dispose of significant assets, such as a house, a business, or an inheritance. These changes may affect the value of your estate and how you want to distribute it. For example, you may want to leave specific gifts to certain beneficiaries or create a trust to reduce inheritance tax or provide for a vulnerable person.

  • Changes in your beneficiaries’ or executors’ circumstances: The people you have named in your will may have died, become incapacitated, moved away, or changed their relationship with you. These changes may affect their ability or willingness to act as your executors or to receive your gifts. For example, you may need to appoint new executors or guardians, or change the proportions or conditions of your bequests.

  • Changes in the law: The laws governing wills and inheritance may change over time, affecting the validity or effectiveness of your will. For example, the rules on inheritance tax, intestacy, or charitable donations may change, affecting the amount of tax you or your beneficiaries have to pay, or the way your estate is distributed if you die without a will.

As a general rule, you should review your will at least every four years, or whenever there is a major change in your life or the law. However, reviewing and updating your will can be a complex and daunting task, especially if you have a large or complicated estate, or if you have family members or dependants who may challenge your will. That’s why you need the help of a professional will writer, such as MDW Solicitors.

MDW Solicitors is a family-run law firm based in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, that provides personalised legal services to the local community. We can assist you with:

  • Drafting or reviewing your will: We will listen to your wishes and advise you on the best way to organise your will, taking into account your personal and financial circumstances, your family situation, and the relevant laws and taxes. We will draft your will in clear and precise language, ensuring that it is legally valid and reflects your intentions.

  • Applying for probate: We will help you obtain the legal authority to deal with the estate of a deceased person, whether they left a will or not. We will guide you through the probate process, from valuing the estate and paying any debts and taxes, to distributing the assets among the beneficiaries and preparing the final accounts.

  • Drafting a lasting power of attorney: We will help you appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf, in case you lose the mental capacity to do so in the future. We will explain the different types of powers of attorney, such as financial or health and welfare, and help you choose the most suitable ones for your needs. We will draft the documents and register them with the Office of the Public Guardian, ensuring that they are legally valid and binding.

  • Dealing with criminal issues, including motoring offences: We will represent you if you are accused of a criminal offence, such as assault, theft, fraud, or driving under the influence. We will advise you on your rights and options and defend you in court or negotiate a plea bargain, depending on your situation. We will aim to achieve the best possible outcome for you, whether it is a dismissal, an acquittal, or a reduced sentence.

  • Lifetime tax planning, including the creation of trusts: We will help you minimise the amount of tax you or your beneficiaries have to pay on your estate, both during your lifetime and after your death. We will advise you on the various ways to reduce your tax liability, such as making gifts, donating to charity, or creating trusts. We will explain the benefits and drawbacks of each option, and help you set up and manage the trusts, ensuring that they comply with the law and the trust deed.

Whether you prefer to visit us in our offices or receive a home visit, MDW Solicitors are always here to help. We offer a free initial consultation, and a fixed fee for most of our services, so you know exactly what you are paying for. We also support the local community by sponsoring local schools and events.

MDW Solicitors was founded in memory of Debra Williamson’s father, Maurice Douglas Williamson, who passed away in December 2017. As his legacy, Debra and Andrew established the firm to provide legal services to families while also contributing to the community.

If you need help with your will or any other legal matter, contact MDW Solicitors today on 01753 299466, or visit our website here. They will be happy to assist you with your legal needs and put your mind at ease.

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