Is Now The Right Time to Make Or Update Your Will?

5th March 2024


by Sarah Lamb, Partner, Chartered Legal Executive

The Association of Lifetime Lawyers has declared 4-10 March as Update Your Will Week for 2024.  This is on the back of their research showing that almost half of the adults in the UK still don’t have a valid Will; 10% have started making one but not completed it, and 43% of those who say it is on their to-do list admit that it has been there for over a year.  They are hoping that focusing on this issue for a specific week will encourage people to make, or update, their Will rather than leaving it on their to-do list indefinitely. The danger of not doing so is that their loved ones could be left not only bereaved but also facing difficulties about what was intended if they haven’t communicated their wishes through a properly drafted Will.

Sarah Lamb, who heads the Private Client team at Fraser Dawbarns, is a member of the Association of Lifetime Lawyers.  She agrees wholeheartedly with their message and states:

“The sad reality is that we see too many instances of people either losing capacity or dying without the appropriate paperwork in place, and the burden that it places on family members can be huge. The Association of Lifetime Lawyers’ research shows that 32% of people haven’t made a Will because they are unsure where to start.  For most people, the easiest starting point is talking to a specialist lawyer who will be able to find out exactly what you wish to achieve, talk you through your options, explain any available tax planning strategies that may be relevant to preserving your assets within the family, and ensure that the final paperwork produced is done in a way which will make it legally binding.”

Find out more about Wills and Estates

If you already have a Will, it is generally recommended that you review it, and update it if needed, every five years or when there’s a major change in your life that has an impact on you or your loved ones.  Examples of this might be a marriage or civil partnership, divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, or a death or a new birth in the family.  It could equally be a change of circumstances in relation to a business, or the purchase or sale of a property, or you might wish to change one or more of your Executors. You should avoid trying to do the update without professional advice.  The Association of Lifetime Lawyers’ research shows that 21% of Wills are either handwritten or contain handwritten amendments, which in many cases can result in problems later on, often when it is too late.

The same applies to making/updating your Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), or replacing a pre-2007 Enduring Power of Attorney  (EPA) with an LPA, which you should consider at the same time as making your Will. In particular, you should review regularly whether your wishes, and your choice of Attorneys, remain the same.

Find out more about Sarah Lamb

While you may not wish to do it this week, do give some serious thought to whether if something happened to you unexpectedly it would leave your loved ones with a problem that you wouldn’t wish them to have.  If the answer is yes, or potentially, then why not make an appointment to see someone at any of our five offices and put your legal paperwork in order, giving yourself and your loved ones total peace of mind.

Contact Sarah Lamb on or your nearest office on:

Ely – 01353 383 483

March – 01345 6028 880

King’s Lynn – 01553 666 600

Downham Market – 01366 383 171

Wisbech – 01945 461 456

This article aims to supply general information, but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek advice specific to your own circumstances. Fraser Dawbarns LLP is always happy to provide such advice.

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*We are recommended for the following practice areas: Corporate and Commercial, Debt Recovery, Employment, Personal Injury: Claimant, Agriculture and Estates, Contentious Trusts and Probate, Family, Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate & Commercial Property.

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