Updating your Will is just as important as creating it. When your Will is out of date and doesn’t reflect your current circumstances, you can’t be sure that your wishes will be carried out as you intend them to be. Ideally, you should be updating your Will (also referred to as making a codicil) whenever you go through a major change in your life, for example when you get married or have a child.
The Jackson Lees Wills Trusts & Probate are on hand to help you update your will to ensure your family are protected. Get in touch with our experts.
When should I update my Will?
The Government officially recommends reviewing your Will every five years. You should update your Will when you experience any significant change in circumstance, such as:
- Separation or divorce
- A change in the value of your own estate
- Inheriting money or assets from another estate
- Marriage or civil partnership (this will revoke any existing Will unless a clause has been included to say it was made in expectation of that marriage or civil partnership)
- Parenthood and adoption
- Loss of a loved one (particularly a named executor or beneficiary)
Once you have made your Will you cannot make any alterations to the document itself. You can, however, amend your wishes by either making a new Will or what is called a ‘codicil’.
Our Will writing solicitors and legal advisers can support you in making any changes to your Will. Make an enquiry to discuss your options.
What is a codicil?
A codicil is a legal document that either adds something to your Will or makes a minor change, avoiding the need to write a new one.
You can use one to add, tweak, explain or revoke (officially cancel) your existing Will. This means you don’t need to tear up your existing Will and write a new one, which saves you money and time.
Adding a codicil is the only way you can make an official change to your Will once it has been signed and witnessed.
How do I make a codicil to an existing Will?
You can have a solicitor or other legal professional write your codicil for you or draft it yourself.
However, we will always recommend that you consult your solicitor when making a codicil or writing a new Will.
Often a Will that has been made at home using an online service or information from the internet can end up being declared invalid because the terms of the Will are ambiguous.
What are the main reasons to make a codicil?
Reasons you might decide to add a codicil:
- Adding a new executor
- Getting married. If you live in England or Wales this will officially cancel your Will, but not in Scotland
- Updating beneficiaries (the people you want to benefit from your Will). Such as adding a new grandchild or removing an ex-partner
- Make minor changes to what beneficiaries will receive
- Changes to your funeral arrangements
How can Jackson Lees help?
Our team of highly trained legal experts are on hand to guide you through the process of updating your Will.