The idea of writing a will can be difficult, with many people putting it off, or assuming it doesn’t need to be written until you are of a certain age. However, like most things in life, planning ahead is sensible. Having a will prepared for when the inevitable happens will ensure your family and loved ones are protected, and your wishes are honoured.

Without a will, when you die, your assets will be distributed according to a set of standard legal rules, which could result in further upset for your family and an outcome that you would not have wished for. 

Many people assume they need to write a will when they get to a certain age or fall ill, but this is not necessarily the case. Life can be unpredictable, and it is always good to prepare for the unexpected. Additionally, it is a legal requirement that you write your will when you are of sound mind, and waiting until you are unwell can prevent you from being able to document your wishes. So, in this article we are going to explore all the times you should write and update your will.

What is a will?

Generally speaking, a will is a legal document that coordinates the distribution of your assets after death and can appoint guardians for minor children. In this document, you can state your wishes regarding these topics:

  • Who will manage your estate
  • Who will inherit your assets and property
  • Who will take care of your children if they’re under the age of 18
  • Who will take care of your pets
  • How would you like your funeral to be

When should you write a will?

If you do not already have a will and an important life event occurs, it is a good time to consider writing one. The recommended time to update your will is every five years, particularly if you undergo any significant life changes. These life events can be broadly divided into two areas: a change to your financial circumstances or a change in your personal life. These changes include:

Changes in your personal life

Turning 18: Although many people will not necessarily need or want to write a will when they turn 18, it is legally allowed in the UK. And there are some instances in which people of this age may need to write one. 

Recently Married: When you get married, any will that was made before the marriage becomes void. Therefore, it is important to update your will after the marriage has been legally confirmed and reflects your wishes.

If you have not written a will prior to your marriage, it’s vital to do so once you are married. The reason for this is that if you die without a valid will, your spouse will inherit all of your personal belongings and assets under £270,000 if you have children.If you do not have any children, your spouse will inherit your entire estate.


Recently divorced: Unlike when you marry, divorcing does not revoke your will; it will remain the same, except your spouse will not inherit from your estate anymore.

Having a child: If you have a child under the age of 18, you should draft a will that contains a guardian clause. This allows you to designate who will care for your children if you or your spouse die. If you have not chosen a guardian, legislation will dictate who will care for your children, which may not be in line with your wishes.

The death of an executor named in your will: If you already have a will written, you will have a person named in it who will be responsible for dealing with your estate when you die; this person is called an executor. If this person dies, you will need to update your will to name a new executor.

Changes to your financial circumstances

Inheriting money or property: When you inherit money or property from someone, these assets will become part of your estate. When this happens, changing your will is necessary to ensure your new assets are protected when you pass away.

Getting a promotion or pay rise: Similarly, to when you inherit money, getting a promotion will change the value of your estate. Therefore, writing a will ensures your assets will go to the right person after you die.

Starting your own business: If you are the sole shareholder in a business, drafting a will ensures you can decide who will take over the running of the business in the event of your death. Writing a will allows you to have control over what happens to the assets of your business and how they will be passed on.

Buying or selling property: Buying or selling property will make a considerable change to the value of your estate. For this reason, it’s essential to make a will so that you can decide who you wish to inherit these assets after your death.

inheriting property

Preparing for the future with Celebration of Life

We hope this gives you some insight into when you should write a will. But if you need any further advice on this topic or are looking to arrange a direct cremation, get in touch with our expert team today.

Our simple, fully inclusive, pre-paid funeral plan starts at £1,450 and is guaranteed at today’s price. We also offer flexible payment terms of up to five years, so you can protect your family financially with a more affordable way to pay. We’re available 24/7, whenever you need us, and more than happy to help.

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