Advice Admin & Legal 3 Reasons To Write Or Change Your Will

3 Reasons To Write Or Change Your Will

When do you need to make or update your will?

It's always a good idea to think about writing or updating your will. This way you can ensure that it reflects your current wishes. However, there are three life events that make this discussion more important:

  • You have children
  • You get married
  • You buy a house or move house

Here we go over each of these events and why it is important to revisit your will.

Making a will after you have kids - appointing guardians

Who do you want to look after your children if you die?

By the age of 16 around 1 in 20 children have experienced losing one or both of their parents. Despite this there are still many of us who need to choose legal guardians for our little ones.

Why do I need to appoint guardians?

Guardians are called into action if there are no surviving parents (those with parental responsibility). If your partner already has parental responsibility over your child, they will automatically take care of them. This may not always be the case and sometimes it is up to the state to decide who will take care of your children if you pass away.

Who has parental responsibility?

According to all mothers and most fathers have legal rights and responsibilities as a parent - known as ‘parental responsibility’. Those who have parental responsibility must:

  • Provide a home for their child
  • Protect and maintain their child

Parents are also responsible for:

  • Disciplining their child
  • Choosing and providing for their child’s education
  • Agreeing to their child’s medical treatment
  • Looking after their child’s property

What if there’s no one with parental responsibility?

If both you and your child's other parent were to die and there is no guardian appointed for your child, then the courts would appoint someone instead. Whilst lots of us believe that custody of our children automatically goes to a partner, or next of kin, this is not always the case. This could mean that someone you wouldn’t have chosen will be left to bring up your children.

Making a will is one way you can help decide who you want to bring up your children if both parents pass away. Parents are busy, children are a lot of work! That is why we have made getting a will simple, and our online takes 15 minutes to complete.

Writing or updating your will after getting married

Marriage is a significant event for most of us. If you have recently got married, or are thinking about it, it is vital to take into account the implications it may have. Once married, should anything happen to you, unless you explicitly state otherwise (in a legal will) your assets will pass on to your new spouse. This can make things complicated if that is not exactly what you want.

How does marriage affect my will?

If you are in England or Wales then any legally valid will you have in place is automatically void, unless your will specifically references your intended marriage.

In this case, your assets will pass on to your new spouse, and if they die as well you would become intestate.

Make an online will to ensure you’re covered

Just because you are married, does not mean you do not need a will. Having a will in place means you can express your wishes. If you are not quite married yet, our online will can be updated at any time, meaning you can edit and amend it after the marriage.

Making a will after buying a house or recently taking out a mortgage - things to consider

One of the biggest reasons for needing a will is to ensure your assets are passed on to those you want to inherit them. Buying a house is possibly the largest investment many of us will make, particularly for first time buyers.

Statistics show that one of the most popular times to make a will is shortly after buying a property. However, many first home buyers miss this step. This can be down to time, effort or the fact you simply have not got around to it yet. But it is important for home owners to understand the risks.

Why should I make a will when buying property?

Given that buying a property is such a large investment, it makes sense to make or update your will after this transaction. If you do not have a will, the house will be passed to the courts who will decide who inherits according to the laws of intestacy. You wouldn’t have any say in who benefits from your estate. The only way to guarantee complete control is to have your will in place.

How can I write my will?

You can get started today from the comfort of your home. Just follow the steps below:

  • Follow the link to write an online will with Octopus Legacy.
  • Fill out our easy to use template.
  • Once your will is submitted, one for our experts will review you will and let you know if any changes are required.
  • No changes needed? We will send you your will to print and you can follow our instructions to make it legally binding.

As discussed in this article, a change in life events can often lead to someone needing to write or update a will. With Octopus Legacy, for just £10 a year you can make unlimited updates so your will also expresses your wishes. Don’t put off making a will any longer!

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