There may be times when it is necessary to make changes to your Will, however, it can be difficult to know when is the right time and even how to go about making the changes. Our team of expert solicitors in Essex take you through everything you need to know on changing your Will.
Circumstances changed and you need to amend your Will? Contact our team of specialist solicitors in Essex today.
Why change your Will?
The most notable time to change your Will is when a major life event occurs, these events may have an important impact both on your wishes for the distribution of your estate and on the validity of your current Will. Major circumstances include:
- You welcome a child
- Move, sell or buy property
- One of your executors, beneficiaries or guardians dies
- You want to add a specific gift or message to a loved one
How to change a Will?
However big or small you believe the changes are, it’s crucial that you do not alter your original Will.
If you need some minor changes to your Will, such as changing an executor or adding a legacy then you are able to use an additional document called a codicil.
What is a Codicil?
A Codicil is a document that allows you to make changes to your existing Will without having to write a new one from scratch. The process is the same where it must be signed and witnessed in the same way as a Will, but there is no requirement for it to be the same people that witnessed the Will originally. This is the formal process to updating your Will with a Codicil - you can’t just write down some notes on a piece of paper and put it with the Will - so it’s recommended that you do so through a solicitor.
It is free of charge to update any information you like on your Will for any minor amendments. This is because Codicils can make the Will more difficult for the executor to manage when you pass away, so it is best to keep them as short as possible.
Do new amendments to a Will cancel the old Will?
If a new Will is made, you should always include a revocation clause, which essentially means that it revokes any former Wills made - it can be as simple as ‘i revoke all my earlier testamentary dispositions’ this way your family and executors Will know exactly what to do when it comes to probate and managing your estate.
It is clear that there can be complications that occur with poor construction of the Codicil and testamentary documents being confused, mislaid, or not stored correctly - which is why it should always be done through a solicitor or legal expert to ensure that changes to your Will are carried out correctly.
If you would like to create a Will or you would like to make any amendments to your current one, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our solicitors in Essex.