‘Review Wills’ warning comes following plans for changes to wills

The Government has announced a consultation into Deeds of Variation, arguing the process can be used to wrongly avoid tax. They have been deemed controversial by some, however solicitors and financial planners argue it’s a valuable policy that can be used to correct mistakes and ensure the straightforward handling of estates between families. What are your views on them?

Kathryn Harwood, Head of Wills & Estate Planning at Napthens, warns this news means there has never been a more important time to make sure wills are up-to-date and regularly reviewed. She explains: “Deeds of variation have been under the spotlight for some time, but have been used for many years as a legitimate and genuine way to solve problems, such as changes in circumstances which did not exist when a will was drawn up.

“If Deeds of Variation are restricted, it will be very important to ensure that when wills are first drawn up, they incorporate a greater level of flexibility. This is because it may not be possible to change them following someone’s death, as can currently be done.”

Has your practice undertaken measures to ensure clients are aware of these changes?

Shropshire-based PCB Solicitors is reminding individuals about the Deed of Variation legislation, which enables a will to be changed after someone has died, following reports that the Chancellor intends to change the policy.

How is your practice dealing with the issue and what measures are you putting in place to ensure your clients are made aware of the changes?

Nick Fitzgerald, Head of Financial Planning at national wealth manager Brewin Dolphin, says: “Without a relevant and up-to-date will, your relations could end up paying more tax, and your legacies may not go where you wish.

“You should revisit your will every three to five years, or when there is a material change to your life, but it is surprising how few people do this.”

Are your clients regularly attending to their wills? How do you encourage them to do this?

What would you deem to be the most common cause that initiates a client into making changes to their wills?

Has your practice seen a recent surge in client traffic regarding changes to wills given the recent press coverage and upcoming changes to pensions?

Please leave a comment below.

Today's Wills and Probate