The importance of having an up-to-date will is highlighted by the events following the death of a wealthy Scotsman. His personal circumstances had changed but his will had not.

The man separated from his wife in 2005 and each signed an agreement that they would make no financial claim on the other. The couple never divorced, although the husband had entered into a new relationship. He did not alter his will, however, under which his entire estate passed to his wife.

He died suddenly in 2008, aged 49. His mother and children sought to challenge his will, but their application to have it declared void was thrown out by the court.

A will ignored when circumstances change is a time bomb waiting to go off. If your family circumstances change, make sure you review your will and take legal advice on any changes necessary.