Do I need to make a will?

Elaine O’Toole Solicitors

As your circumstances in life change you should make a will or review and update your existing will. Here are a few of the more common scenarios that may be relevant to you:-

Are you buying a house?

Do you know who will inherit your house in the event of your death?

Are you getting married?

  • If you marry or enter into a civil partnership, any will you made before the marriage or civil partnership is revoked (cancelled) unless that will was made with the marriage or civil partnership in mind.

Are you starting a family or already have a young family?

  • Have you considered what would happen to your child/children if something should happen to you and your spouse. You can make a will appointing guardians and trustees for your children if this were to happen.

Are you separated or divorced?

While a marriage has the effect of revoking your will, a separation or divorce does not have the same effect. When you separate from your spouse it does not mean that he/she loses the right to a legal right share of your estate. This depends on the terms of your separation agreement or divorce. Therefore, if you made a will prior to your separation or divorce you should review it immediately and if you did not already have a will in place you should make one now, to take account of your changed circumstances.

Are you co-habiting with your partner?

Unlike a married couple or a civil partnership, you do not have any automatic rights to any of your deceased partner’s estate, no matter how long you were together.

If you are a qualified cohabitant (either living together in an intimate and committed relationship for at least 5 years or 2 years if you have had a dependent child together), you may apply to the Courts for provision to made for you from the estate of your deceased partner. This is not guaranteed and will depend on the financial relationship between you, whether your partner was still married or had children and the size of the estate.