I am thinking about updating my Will. How should I go about this?

Andrew Pinel replies: It is always wise to review your Will when your circumstances alter, perhaps in the event of a change in marital status, the arrival of a child or grandchild, or the acquisition of a property. Probate law in Jersey has been highly influenced by Norman Law and it is recommended that anyone considering making a Will, or updating an existing Will, consults a legal professional.

Unlike some jurisdictions, Jersey law identifies two types of property that are typically dealt with by two separate Wills. Movable property refers to assets such as bank accounts, shares, bonds, and Share Transfer property, whilst Immovable property refers to Freehold or Flying Freehold property in Jersey. Spouses or civil partners and children are entitled to claim légitime, being a right to part of the deceased’s moveable estate. Upcoming legislation will also ensure that according to specific terms, spouses and civil partners will have the right to lifetime enjoyment of one third of their other halves’ immovable estate, bringing the law more in line with the European Convention on Human Rights.

When contemplating your Will, you might want to consider whether you wish for someone to have life enjoyment of your immovable property, whether there are any funeral instructions you wish to leave or perhaps whether there are any specific bequests you wish to make. Drafting or amending your Will need not be daunting and could be the perfect opportunity to ensure that you remember the people important to you.