January 2023

New Year, New Will

Nicola Dudley Partner - Private Wealth & Tax

Why? Well, it is generally recommended that you review your Will every five years or so to make sure that it still reflects your wishes.

After all, personal and financial circumstances can change significantly, and it can be easy to overlook over these might impact on your wishes, should the worst happen.

Your will should reflect these changes, so, with the start of 2023, why not check if your will reflects what you want now?

Some key considerations as part of this, might include checking your chosen Executor, thinking about whether or not your funeral wishes might have changed or your beneficiaries.



Executors are the people you have chosen to administer your estate upon your death, and they are responsible for making sure that all liabilities are discharged, taxes are paid, and that the beneficiaries have what you want them to receive.

But is the person you chose still capable of acting as your Executor? Have their personal circumstances changed, making them unviable as your Executor?

For example, you may have appointed the spouse or partner of a family member who could have subsequently divorced, so you may choose to swap them for an alternative.

Does the person you chose still have the mental capacity required to act as your Executor? If not, they will need to be changed for an alternative.


Funeral wishes

Whilst it is never a nice subject to broach, it is always a good idea to discuss with your loved ones any funeral wishes you may have. This will make it easier for them to know they are doing the right thing when the time comes.

You may want to include funeral wishes in your will, but it is wise to review these every now and then, to ensure that they still reflect what you want to happen.



Although your thoughts on who you would like to receive your estate may not have changed, beneficiaries may have sadly died, divorced, or just got older.

This means you may need to revise some of the provisions in your existing will to reflect changes that could have happen since the time you made it.

For example, is there someone who you now care for who is finding life a struggle and for whom it would be a disaster to receive a large sum of money?

If so, this might be the sort of situation in which you might wish to reconsider your existing provisions, by building in protection for them in your will. You can do this by providing someone to look after their inheritance for them, until they either reach a certain age or feel able to take on the responsibility.

Additional considerations might include vulnerable beneficiaries who may be disabled or have mental health issues, those going through a divorce or who might have historical issues with money, such as addictions, and who may now need some guidance.

There are ways to ensure that they enjoy their inheritance and that it works for them rather than against them, and our lawyers can support you in amending your will to reflect these.


Charitable giving

If you would like to benefit charities, there are different ways to make a gift in your will and, as part of this, there will be certain Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax considerations that you should be aware of.


Pets and treasured possessions

Finally, don’t forget about any pets or treasured possessions which may be new additions since the time you initially made your will.

A will is an opportunity to make sure that your pets have a safe home to go to and are financially provided for, rather than leaving their welfare to chance.

It can be a nice thought to leave someone a personal item to show you care and gifts of personal possessions can either be made in your will, or you can make your wishes known to your Executors, who can then make sure that your personal belongings and treasured possessions find new homes.

For support with reviewing and updating your Will, our Private Wealth & Tax team can help. Get in touch for more information on the breadth of services we provide - from support with Deeds of Trust and Lasting Powers of Attorney, to reviewing and updating your Will, taking into account Inheritance Tax issues and support with obtaining Probate and the administration of a deceased’s estate.

Nicola Dudley Partner - Private Wealth & Tax +44 (0) 20 7846 2370 nicola.dudley@jurit.com
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook