You can change you Will in two ways:
- By making a new Will. By creating a new Will this will superde your current Will.
- By making a Codicil. A Codicil is an addition/extension to your original Will. A Codicil can be useful when you want to add, change or delete any part of your Will. However, if you wish to make a number of changes to your Will it is advisable to complete a new Will. You should contact our office if you wish to make a Codicil as the Codicil needs to make reference to the particular part of your Will that you are amending and a Codicil should be signed and witnessed in the same way as a Will.
When should you change your Will?
A Will is a document that sets out what you wish to happen to your assets after your death, who will be guardian of your minor children and who will be your executor. Your Will of course will need to be changed as your life changes. If you wish to make changes to your Will you should contact us to make an appointment to change your Will. Do not make the mistake of putting the matter on the long finger as it is important that your Will is updated to reflect any changes you wish to make. If you don’t make the changes your Will, your Will without the changes will be your last Will and testament.
Most common reasons to change a Will
- Following marriage/remarriage. It is important to note that marriage revokes a Will but that separation/divorce does not. Therefore, if you do not make a new Will, your estate will be distributed according to the Rules of Intestacy.
- Following a separation/divorce. When you separate from your spouse it does not mean that your spouse automatically loses their right to the his/her legal right to a share of your estate. This depends on the terms of a separation/judicial separation agreement, or divorce. If you are separated and are completing your Will you should furnish your solicitor with a copy of your signed separation agreement/divorce.
- When entering into a civil partnership, as it revokes your previous Will.
- For couples having cohabited for a long period of time.
- Following the death of a spouses: if you left a significant proportion of your estate to your spouse in your Will, you will need to update your Will.
- Following the birth of a child. You will wish to change your Will to provide for the child and also to appoint trustees and guardians for your child in the event that something should happen to you and your spouse. Also a change in your child’s circumstances such as if your child gets separated or divorced.
- Following the death of one of your heirs, if your heir dies before you, you may need to change your Will to reflect this change.
- If your assets have altered significantly, whether its because the value of the asset has changed significantly or you may no longer own an asset or you may have acquired additional assets which you may want to deal with in your Will.
- Changes in tax law.
Because our circumstances change it is important to review your Will on a regular basis, to ensure that it accurately represents your wishes.
If you would like to discuss altering or changing your Will, please contact us to arrange a convenient appointment.