When you make your Will, it is tempting to cross it off your ‘To Do’ list, and think that nothing else needs to be done with it. Sometimes this is true.
But what should you do if you find you need to change your Will?
Firstly, please don’t make handwritten changes to the original Will. Any changes made by hand would need to have been made at the time of signing your Will, and would need to have been signed or initialled by you and both witnesses before the Will itself was signed.
Some changes you may wish to make do not need to be made in the Will itself. For example, if your executors have moved, or your children are now adults and the appointment of guardians is no longer necessary, you do not need to change your Will.
You can make a note of the executors’ new addresses and keep that note with your original Will, so that the executors can be contacted when the time comes.
Secondly, if you are thinking about changing your Will to deal with a particular change in your circumstances, it may well be time to review your Will in more detail.
Changes to your Will can be made by means of a Codicil to your Will. A Codicil would be appropriate if you wanted to:
- revoke the appointment of an executor or replace an executor;
- increase a legacy or include an additional legacy;
- revoke a gift in the Will;
- change any of the beneficiaries
If you wish to make any of these changes to your Will, do make sure you are clear about all the effects of this decision, and how it could affect the other beneficiaries.
There are particular milestones in life when it is a good idea to think about making a new Will, including:
- getting married;
- buying a property;
- having children;
- arrival of grandchildren;
- receiving an inheritance.
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