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Local Solicitor Advises Parents To Update Their Wills

A local solicitor is urging those with children across the county of the vital importance of ensuring they have up to date wills.

Lynn Vowles, a Wills and Probate expert at PCB Solicitors, who recently became a mum for the second time herself, is advising Shropshire/Worcestershire/Powys parents to be aware of the potential consequences of not updating their will and naming the rightful guardian and beneficiaries of their estate. The warning comes after latest research suggests 58% of adults do not have a will at all, with 1 in 10 of these individuals believing their assets will automatically go to their children if the worst was to happen, even though this might not necessarily be the case.

Lynn Vowles explained: “Many people wrongly assume that once they die their personal possessions and assets will automatically be transferred to the ‘right’ individuals, but there are a series of factors that could actually affect this, such as a marriage breaking down and each partner remarrying.

“For instance, individuals that remarry may assume their children will inherit their personal possessions, but unless their will is updated to reflect this change in circumstances, their estate could actually go entirely to their new spouse. The same goes for step-children, if they have not been adopted, and the person’s will hasn’t been updated then by the rules of intestacy they are not entitled to inherit anything.

As well as ensuring possessions and assets are passed to the person the individual wishes, having an up to date will also offers additional reassurance. It firstly allows a parent to appoint a guardian to care for their children should they pass away before the child reaches the age of 16. The chosen guardian will be given the responsibility of making important decisions concerning the child or children, such as health, education, and welfare. If a parent does not name a guardian, the state will make the decision based on the best interests of the child, not necessarily who the parents wish.

It also allows the parents to state an age at which they wish their children to receive their inheritance, which is usually when the child reaches the age of 18 or 21 years old.

“As a mother myself, I’d advise all parents to update their wills, or for those currently without a will, to get one drawn up. Not only can it help avoid confusion regarding the inheritance of assets if the worst was to happen, but it can also provide parents with piece of mind that their children will be cared for. If you would like to find out more information about how you can go about making or updating a will please call a member of the team, Lynn concluded. 

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