The will is an important legal document designed to ensure that your assets are shared according to your desires after your death. You can make a will as long as you are an adult with the mental capacity to understand the significance of the will. A valid will must be made in writing, and you and two witnesses must sign the document in each other's presence. It is prudent to engage a solicitor to help you prepare the will. This will limit the risk of successful challenges and disagreements after your demise. If you are planning to make or have already prepared your will, it is critical to know how to make changes. This will help you keep your will updated depending on your current situation.
Using a Codicil
If you have a satisfactory will but need to make a relatively minor alteration, you should consider using a codicil. Basically, the codicil is an addition to an existing will, and it must be written in a separate document. You will also need to have two witnesses for the signing of the codicil to make it valid. You should make sure that the codicil does not include any clause that revokes your existing wills. In addition, it should not contradict your current will or cause any confusion. Otherwise, the additions will be considered invalid.
Revoking Your Will
You can revoke your existing will; this will make the document invalid after your death. The best way to do this is to create a new will which accommodates your current requirements. This is often simpler than making a codicil since the formal requirements are essentially the same. You can also cancel the will through writing, but you should consult a solicitor to ensure that the withdrawal is valid. The intention to revoke the will is also considered by the court when disputes arise. For instance, destroying the will or stating your intention to cancel the will can invalidate the document.
Cancellation by Marriage and Divorce
The existing will is automatically cancelled if your legal situation changes significantly. If you get married after making the will, the document will be revoked. However, it can remain valid if you prepared the will in anticipation of the said marriage. This choice can result in tricky challenges, so seek legal counsel from a solicitor in your area. If you get a divorce, the entire will cannot be revoked. Generally, any gift to your ex-spouse and any position as trustee or executor will be withdrawn. It is advisable to create a new will to avoid confusion.