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Millions face out of date wills shock

Thursday 14th March 2013

Disputes over wills could soar according to research from Saga Legal Solutions.  A third of over 50s say their financial or family circumstances have changed significantly since they last updated their will.

One in five (17%) have become grandparents and one in ten have moved house without updating their will, which can set families at war - you just have to look at the schism it caused will and Ed Grundy in "The Archer's" when a relative left all the money to Will because Ed was born after she made her will.

In this instance, if the relative had updated her will when the second nephew came along, she wouldn't have accidentally disinherited him.  

Similarly, if a person's will contains gifts then they may become disproportionate if their circumstances change and their will is not updated.
For example if someone decides to leave their property to their children and the small amount of cash they have to a charity.  If these people in later life decide to downsize, exchanging the large family home for a small purpose built flat, leaving residuary cash of £500,000 and do not update their will, then they could end up with the children only receiving the small flat with the £500,000 plus cash held going to the charity.  

Also, the law is constantly evolving, therefore it is wise to check that your will is still valid in this regard. Solicitors recommend people look over their will every two or three years to check that it is relevant for their circumstances. However just one in seven (14%) over 50s check their will this regularly.

Just under half (44%) say they review their will every 3-5 years, however a third say that they have never reviewed their will.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, said: "Only two-thirds of people do the right thing and get a will written. However, once you have a will you need to review it regularly and ensure you update it when your circumstances change.

Keeping it up to date is the only way to ensure that your wishes will be carried out after you have gone.  It also helps family members when sorting your affairs at such a distressing time."

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George Bailey

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