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Changing a Will in : What You Need to Know

  • There are many instances that may necessitate changing of your Will. Among them are changes in your life such as marriage, separation, divorce and birth or death of a child or relative.
  • In fact, in cases of marriage, remarriage or entering into civil partnerships, your Will automatically becomes invalid and you have to come up with a new one. A change of mind or notice of an error in the existing Will are also some of the reasons that may make you change your Will.
  • However, making such changes is not straightforward. Here is a look at the legal options you have when you decide to make changes to a Will.

Make a Codicil to the Existing Will

  • A codicil allows you to make minor changes to an existing Will while leaving the rest of it intact. Some of the changes that may necessitate changing your Will using a codicil include increasing the cash gift’s value to reflect issues such as inflation, appointing a new executor or trustee following the deaths of the original ones, changing funeral wishes, appointing a different guardian to your children or reallocating a bequest if the original beneficiary dies.
  • A codicil is legally binding just like the original Will.
  • For a codicil to be valid it has to be prepared on a sheet of paper separate from the one the original Will was written on. Just as in the preparation of the original Will it has to be dated, signed and witnessed by two people who have no interest in the Will’s inheritance.
  • However, it is not necessary that the witnesses be the same as the ones who witnessed the signing of the original Will. There is no limit to the number of codicils you can make to an existing Will. However, each codicil you make has to be numbered and stored safely with the Will. The codicils should not be attached to the Will, as that could invalidate the Will.

Wills- An Outline

A Will is a legal document where you name one or more recipients, who will keep your affairs in order after you’ve passed away. Furthermore, it sets out who is entitled to your property and your possessions after death.

A will can establish:

Who will take care of your children

  • Gifts given to family, friends and charities
  • Funeral requests
  • A trust fund to take hold of any assets once your children reach a given age

In order to write a will there are a few rules that must be adhered to:

  • Made by a person who is 18 years of age or over (unless mitigating circumstances dictate the contrary)
  • A Will is made voluntarily and is not a forced action brought about be another person
  • It is made by a person who has all of the mental capacities intact
  • Must be made in writing
  • It must be properly signed by the person making the Will in the presence of two chosen witnesses

Prepare a New Will

  • If the changes you need to make to an existing Will are major then you will need to prepare a new Will altogether. Such changes include changing the main beneficiary, removing a living beneficiary or creating a Trust following the birth of a child. In preparing the new Will you have to specify in the introductory clause that you are revoking all previous codicils and Wills. You will also have to destroy copies of previous Will to avoid confusion upon your death.
  • Making regular changes to your Will is important so that the Will you leave behind fully reflects your wishes at the time of your death. Using experts such as Direct Wills ensures that any changes you make to the Will meet legal requirements and do not bring any confusion when you die.

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Choosing To Write A Will

  • Making a will something some of us do not want to think about; however, if you do not take the time to fill in a will then your worldly possessions will be distributed according to a law dating back to 1925. Under this law you are not always assured that your spouse or civil partner will inherit your property – you simply cannot leave this to chance.
  • Making a Will ensures that your affairs, after your passing, will not have to sorted out by those saddened and distraught by your passing. Making a will is a more constructive and cheaper option.
  • Anyone can make a will, from the elderly to very small children and it is something every individual should consider. But, it is something we rarely get down to.
  • A Will is something you need to do now in order to safeguard your property and the possessions you have worked to hard to get.
  • Our Will writers deliver a personalised and efficient service to our clients.