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Half of Wills in Havering and Brentwood are out of date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it for more than five years, meaning nearly half of Wills made in the area of Havering and Brentwood are likely to be out-of-date.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An unchecked and outdated Will could cause severe implications for your loved ones after death – including missed inheritances and higher inheritance tax fees.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: www.sfe.legal

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