Major legal changes in the last ten years have an impact on assets and property bequeathed in wills, highlighting the need for people to update their wills to keep pace. It can take as little as half an hour a year to check that your will still meets your needs – an investment worth making.
The basic formalities of making a will may not have changed for more than 180 years, but major financial legislation since 2008 means that new tax rules can have a considerable effect upon how you dispose of your assets in your will.
Following the introduction of both the Finance Act 2008 and the Residence Nil Rate Band in April 2017, how many clients have taken steps to review their wills in light of these changes?
The question is, why don’t people treat their lawyer more like their accountant and have a yearly review?
Solicitors are felt to be a necessary evil, I think, rather than a real necessity. Clients treat their solicitor as a reactive service, as opposed to a proactive service, a mind-set that I am very keen to change. You don’t wait for your car to break down before taking it for a service, so why would you run the risk of paying more tax when you can get your estate planning serviced annually in the same way?
Once you have found a private client solicitor that you trust to advise you in connection with your affairs, why not take half an hour a year to review the content of your will and to discuss your current personal circumstances. This will ensure that your will and estate planning measures are up to date.