“The only constant in life is change”- Heraclitus (Greek philosopher)
A lot of things change in your life over time, and you need to adapt to continue growing and maintain stability. This also applies to your Will, as not reviewing it every few years and making the necessary changes could lead to issues for the beneficiaries of your estate. Most people assume that once a Will and other estate planning documents are signed, they do not need to review them again. However, any major change in your personal circumstances or financial position should be considered a trigger event to review your Will and make appropriate changes that reflect your wishes. It is also advisable to review your Will every 3 to 5 years to make sure the information is up-to-date and accurate.
How to Review and Revise Your Will
You can begin this process yourself before getting your lawyer involved. Whenever there is a big change in your life, just ask yourself the following questions to understand if there is a need to revise your Will.
1. Is there any significant change in the structure of your family such as the birth of a child, divorce, death, disability, etc? Do you need to add or remove someone?
2. Is there any change in the way your assets are divided among the beneficiaries?
3. Are the legal guardians and executors named in your Will still able to perform their duties adequately?
4. Do you want to add any new instructions or last wishes?
Make a note of any revisions and then approach your lawyer to execute them.
Let’s take a closer look at some changes that may influence you to amend or update your Will:
There’s no denying that personal relationships naturally change as they grow and develop. While it is important to understand that every relationship has its ups and downs, some changes can be life-altering and must be dealt with as such. The commencement of a romantic relationship, marriage, or the birth of a child or grandchild are instances where you might want to include that person in your Will. The death of a beneficiary, a divorce or separation, or the vulnerability of a beneficiary are all good reasons you may want to consider removing them from your Will. A breakdown in your relationship with relatives or friends whom you may have named as beneficiaries can also be a cause to review your Will. You may also have to make changes to the persons you have appointed in control roles, such as the executors, guardians, or lawyers if their circumstances change.
Changing Financial or Business Position
Estate/ Legacy planning is a significant part of drafting a Will, and it is something that you need to revise every few years as the value of your assets can increase or decrease. Your financial position can change for a variety of reasons that you cannot control, such as market conditions and inflation or deflation. Acquiring or disposing of assets such as real estate or equity options should also prompt you to revise your Will. If you own a business, you should specify who takes over in the event of your untimely demise.
A Will drafted in one country may not be valid in another country. This is especially important if you acquire new assets in the new location. Consult a Lawyer in the new country to understand if your current Will is valid or if you need to make a new one. It is vital to understand the probate, property, estate, and inheritance laws of the new country.
Chronic Or Terminal Illness
End-of-life planning or advance care planning provides people with the tools they need to control their financial and healthcare decisions while they can still take part in the decision-making process. End-of-life planning ensures a person receives healthcare treatment that is consistent with their wishes and preferences, should they be unable to make their own decisions or speak for themselves later on. This involves conversations with your lawyer, healthcare professional, and caregivers to understand the finer details and determine what needs to be done in the event of a life-threatening illness or injury. A lawyer will be able to offer legal help to deal with special circumstances and draft a Power of Attorney document as well as a Will.
Why Do You Need A Will In The UAE?
To protect the Guardianship of your children by nominating both permanent and temporary guardians.
To protect property, you own – as UAE Law applies to real estate owned by expatriates in the UAE.
You have the freedom to distribute your assets as you wish– you can make specific gifts, for example, to a specific beneficiary. You can stipulate your personal wishes which is not an option under home country laws.
By having a valid Will in the UAE from a practical perspective the courts in the UAE will be able to deal with the distribution of your assets, bank accounts etc with ease post-death as there is evidence of your intentions.
Avoid family disputes and costly court battles – which gives you peace of mind, that if the inevitable happens, your estate will be distributed in accordance with your wishes.
The Dubai International Financial Centre provides excellent wealth protection solutions for protecting assets and property in the UAE via a DIFC Will and/or a DIFC Foundation.
How can TWS Legal Consultants help?
TWS Legal Consultants has vast experience in UAE Inheritance and Legacy planning matters. We make reviewing your estate plan easy and can help prepare/amend your Will along with other supporting documents.
To book a Consultation with a Wills Specialist Lawyer contact us on the details below:
or call +971 4 448 4284