Maeve Binchy considered herself a great Will maker

By Lenore Rice

Irish novelist Maeve Binchy, who died aged 72 in 2012, considered herself to be a "great Will maker" and claimed she had updated her Will at least 40 times.

While Ms Binchy's regular updating and re-writing of her Will might be considered by many to be excessive, it does highlight the importance of revisiting a Will at different times in your life as new milestones are passed - purchasing a new property, the birth of children, a divorce, remarriage, and other significant events that might change your wishes for how your estate is distributed after your death.

Last month it was learned that Ms Binchy's estate totalled over £8million, two-thirds of which went to her husband, with the rest being left to family, friends and charities. The details of her Will perhaps explain why she updated it so often, and once joked that she had written a Will "every year since she was 21". There were a large number of beneficiaries named in the Will, and also there were many very personal bequeathments of her individual belongings such as a "bishop's chain" and a "round silver tray with legs".

The more specific a Will is, the quicker it is likely to require updating. A Will that just leaves an entire estate to a person or numerous people will only need changed if the intended beneficiaries are to be changed. If a Will contains a list of specific items to many beneficiaries the testator may wish to update it more regularly if relationships with those people change, if new precious items are obtained, or others are sold or lost for example.

If you require information about writing a Will or updating an existing a Will contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9293.