Court of Protection

Half of Wills in Havering and Brentwood are out of date

Research commissioned by SFE has revealed that almost half (45%) of people living in London who have a Will haven’t updated it for more than five years, meaning nearly half of Wills made in the area of Havering and Brentwood are likely to be out-of-date.

28 Mar 2022

Of those, over a third (31%) haven’t updated it for over seven years, and nearly a fifth (18%) haven’t dusted it off in more than a decade.

Having an up-to-date and well drafted Will is crucial in ensuring your wishes are carried out in the way you’d like when you die.

This year, SFE, a membership body representing over 1,600 solicitors specialising in working with older and vulnerable people, has launched “Update Your Will Week” (28th March – 3rd April) in a bid to raise awareness of the importance of updating your Will regularly.

Wills should be reviewed and updated every five years, or when a major change in your life occurs that impacts you or your loved ones, such as divorce, marriage, a new birth or even death in the family.

SFE’s research has revealed that almost a third (32%) of people in London with a Will have had significant changes to their lives and circumstances since they drafted it.

An unchecked and outdated Will could cause severe implications for your loved ones after death – including missed inheritances and higher inheritance tax fees.

SFE’s research revealed that:

  • Only 16% of Britons realise that remarrying invalidates a Will.
  • Less than a third (31%) of people realise stepchildren won’t be included in your Will unless you stipulate that separately.
  • 17% of people wrongly think you can update your Will by making changes on the original document and initialling them.

The findings have also revealed that 55% of people living in the capital don’t have a Will in place at all – a worryingly high figure.

M&P Commentary

Samantha Hamilton, SFE Solicitor and Head of Court of Protection department at Mullis & Peake, said:

“Many people assume that once you have drafted a Will you don’t ever have to review it, and that your wishes will be carried out as you wish them to be posthumously – but unfortunately, that’s far from true. If you remarry, for example, your Will gets revoked. Or if you marry into a family and have stepchildren that you’d like to inherit your assets – this won’t happen automatically unless you stipulate it in a new Will. All these details are crucial to avoid family disputes – which we know can be very distressing for your loved ones.”

To find out more, or to find your local SFE accredited solicitor, visit:


Ranked highly in Romford and Brentwood for solicitor firms

Trusts and Probate
We would like to thank Anne and Manzurul for helping to make our probate application go smoothly and efficiently. We found the process very professional.
M McDermott
From start to finish our needs were handled with all due care and attention to detail.
Residential Property
Svetlana at Mullis & Peake recently handled our divorce transactions and house purchase, no fuss, straight forward advice, great communication and handled efficiently.
Residential Property
Trusts and Probate
Excellent service and very good advice on both recent matters. Mullis & Peake have acted for our family for many years and have proved very professional on each occasion
Residential Property
Mullis & Peake dealt with both the sale and purchase for my mum's properties. Paul is professional, helpful and efficient. Explained all the processes in a timely manner. Top quali...
I've found the service I've received at Mullis and Peake to be courteous, professional and highly recommendable.
Special thanks to Roisin McCorry for her professionalism, resolve, patience, and the support she provided during this very difficult time.
Dispute resolution
Extremely satisfied with service received from Mullis & Peake. I would thoroughly recommend their service as they were recommended to me.

Related News insights

Commercial Disputes, Legal, Business, Contract Disputes & Debt Recovery, Debt Recovery
Start the new tax year with better debt recovery processes
Family & Divorce, Legal, Divorce, Family law
No more blame but challenges remain for divorcing couples
Dispute Resolution, Legal, Landlord & Tenant (Residential)
Assured Shorthold Tenancies: A guide to the Section 21 Procedure
Legal, Wills & Power of Attorney, Wills
Wills validity challenges in the news