Do you need a Will?

Are You....

Do you need a Will?

Do you have any....

(If yes to children) Are any of your children under the age of 18?

Do you need a Will?

Do you already have a will?

(if a will is in place) When did you make the will?

(If will was less than 5 years ago) Since you made that will, have you moved home, divorced, separated, gotten married, had a child or been given a new grandchild?


Did you know that being married doesn’t mean your husband or wife will automatically get everything you own when you die? If your estate is worth more than £250,000, they’ll have to split some of it with your kids. This can force them to sell the family home!
Even if not, it’s still a good idea to make a will. Anything you leave to your spouse can’t be taken away in inheritance tax. And a will can protect any kids you might have together from losing their inheritance if your partner remarries.
In a long term relationship, but not married
If you aren’t married or in a civil partnership, your partner won’t inherit anything from you automatically without a will. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together, or even if you have kids.
As someone in a long term relationship, it’s worth making a will so that if anything were to happen to you, your partner would have that support. It’s all the more important if the two of you are splitting a mortgage or rent.
If you’re separated, but not divorced, your soon-to-be-ex spouse can still inherit everything you own if you die. So unless you’re happy with that, it’s important to make a will. This is especially important if you’re in a new relationship!
If you’re divorced, any will you made before the official split would likely need to be updated. Your ex-spouse wouldn’t be able to be a beneficiary, executor or trustee.
Instead, your estate will be dealt with as if your ex had died on the day of your divorce: anything you gave them in the will would instead go to whoever was named as back-up - or if you didn’t name someone, it would be treated as if you’d never made a will at all.
Without a will, divorcees can be safe in the knowledge that their ex won’t inherit their estate automatically any more. But a will is still important if you want to protect a new partner, support children and parents, and essentially have a say in what should happen to your life’s savings when you die.
Children under 18
It’s important to make a will if you have a child under the age of 18. Why? Because (as well as securing their financial future) a will is the best way to have a say in who would take care of your child or children if you passed away.
If you make a will, you can choose people you trust to step in if something happened to you.
Unless you’ve adopted your step-children, they won’t be able to inherit anything from you automatically if you die without a will. If you’d like to set aside something to support them, you need to make a will.
This is especially important if your partner is leaving most of their estate to you - they’d want some of that money to reach their children once you’ve passed away.
Who would look after your pet if you died tomorrow? No one likes to think about their furry (or feathered, or scaly) friends left in a shelter. With a will, you can choose someone to look after your pet and give them some spending money to help them do it in style.
Has a will more than 5 years old
It’s great that you have a will, but it might be about time you made a new one. The UK government recommends updating your will every 5 years, or any time a major life change swings your way. Examples might be getting married, having a child, moving home, getting divorced, being given a grandchild, or any big purchase.
That said, if nothing has changed, your will is still fine! Just give it a check through now to make sure your wishes are still the same.
Has a will less than 5 years old, has seen major life changes
It sounds like you might need to update your will! While your will wasn’t made that long ago, you’ve had a major life change - and your will might need to be tweaked to reflect that.
The UK government recommends updating your will every 5 years, or whenever you get married, have a child, move home, get divorced or separate, or get a new grandchild.
That said, if your wishes and identifying information are still the same as they were when you first made your will, you will might be fine! Just give it a check now.
Has a will less than 5 years old, no major life changes
Sounds like you’re up-to-date! Well done. With a recent will already in place, you can rest assured that your nearest and dearest will be protected if anything should happen to you.
Don’t forget though: wills need to be kept up-to-date! If anything in your life changes - new kids, grandkids, new home, new partner, a divorce, a major purchase, etc. - you should make some changes to your will. The UK government recommends updating every 5 years just to be safe.

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