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Changing of a will

Can I change my will once I have made one?

Can I change my will once I have made one?

Once you have written your online will it is easy to sit back and think that you’ll never need to worry about the issue again however it is important to remember that things change and you should regularly review your will to make sure it’s still current.

Why would I want to change my will?

The simple answer to this is to ask you to think about how life was five or ten years ago.
Did you have the same assets?
Have you had more children or grandchildren?
Have your views changed?
The answer is probably yes to at least one of these and of course, if you wrote your will five years ago you’d probably have different wishes now.
It’s good practice to review your will at least every five years and definitely after any major life event such as;
• Owning property or assets outside England and Wales
• Divorce or separation
• Marriage, civil partnership or a new long-term partner
• Having a new child or grandchild
• Inheriting assets
• Moving home
• If a beneficiary or an executor named in your Will dies

Some common misconceptions

Often people believe that if they divorce then that automatically revokes their will.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Your will is a fixed document at a point in time and doesn’t always recognise that your marital status may have changed or even that your partner may have passed on.
Alternatively, it is often thought that a new partner is included under an already existing will.
In fact, when a person marries it automatically cancels any pre-existing will.
Similarly, when a new child or grandchild is born they are not necessarily automatically covered.

How can a will be changed?

There are two ways of changing your will in England and Wales.
The first option is to write a completely new will that revokes the old document.
This has the advantage that it ‘clears the decks’ for your wishes to be clearly expressed without any misunderstandings.
A new will allows you to make major changes to the conditions in your will and although it takes longer is the more comprehensive option.
The second method of changing your will is to add a ‘codicil’.
A codicil is an added part that clarifies something that may have changed since the first document was produced.
This is a good choice in terms of speed and cost as a lot less work is required.
But adding a codicil can cause misunderstandings if it clashes with anything in the main body and could cause inheritance tax issues.
Practically, it is also important that the codicil is firmly attached to the original document as if it is lost then it will not be executed.
The codicil will need to be signed and witnessed in the same manner as the original will and we would suggest not adding more than one codicil to a will as this may cause it to become too complex.

Smart-Will is so simple and cost-effective to use it is easy to make a whole new will.
However, should you need advice on how to amend your online will then please just contact us as we have highly experienced experts ready to help.


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