As long as you are over the age of 18 and have the mental capacity to do so, you can make a Will at any point in your life.*
Ideally, every adult should have a Will as we all have something we leave behind – children, money, a house, a body! Everyone over the age of 18 should definitely make a Will.
You should make a will if you have a property or assets, if you want to leave something specific to a named individual, if you have family who rely on your financially and, maybe most importantly, if you have young children.
A Will can cover everything from child care arrangements and pet care, all the way up to the handling of your bank account/s and digital assets. If you want full control over what happens after you have died, you must start to think about your Will now.
Many people wait until they have bought a property, or had a child to make a Will, even though the Intestacy Rules rarely do what people think or what they want. A Will makes sure your assets go where you want, not where the law thinks they belong.
Wills can also be updated at anytime, but having one in place as soon as possible means that your assets, whether big or small, will pass to your loved ones and your wishes in relation to your children can be carried out.
If you already have a Will in place but your circumstances change you should review your Will to make sure it reflects your wishes. You should review your Will when you have had a significant change to your circumstances. This could be; children, marriage, Civil Partnership, co-habiting, property purchase, new relationship, divorce or a separation, inheriting money or property, losing money or property or even winning the lottery. Changes to your circumstances can make your Will inadequate or invalid.
*The only exception to this is if you are under the age of 18 but are a soldier on active duty or a sailor at sea – in the circumstances, you can also make a Will. Also, if a person lacks mental capacity, then a Statutory Will may be made for them. This involves an application to the Court of Protection. It is definitely a good idea to do this if the Intestacy rules would produce an outcome which the person would not be happy with.