If you’ve made a Will, congratulations! You join a select club of only 30% of the population in Scotland who’ve made a Will. However, having made a Will, what happens if your circumstances change? Things change over time. You may have been divorced or re-married. You may have a new grandchild. You might decide to change your executor. There are lots of reasons why you should review your Will.
It is important that any changes you wish to make are dealt with properly. Don’t be tempted to write a short note and place it with your Will. Doing something like that might cause more harm than good. You need to remember that a Will is a legal document. When you prepared your Will, it is likely it was created by a solicitor. It will have been set out correctly and properly witnessed. Don’t be tempted to write a note that might just undo a properly prepared Will.
Making changes to a Will
There are two ways you can change your Will. You can make changes by using a Codicil or you can make an entirely new Will.
A Codicil is a formal document that allows you to make changed to your Will. It is generally used for minor changes rather than major changes. It is important that you take legal advice to make sure nothing in a Codicil contradicts the remaining terms of the Will or introduced ambiguity that would cause difficulties when winding up your estate or, worse still, push your estate into intestacy.
You can, technically, have as many Codicils if you want. However, the more Codicils you have, the greater the risk of conflict, confusion and ambiguity.
When you wish to make major changes to a Will or if the changes you wish to make are numerous or complicated, the best option may be to create an entirely new Will. This means you will start with a clean slate and can set down your wishes in a clear, concise manner. The new Will also revokes (cancels) the previous Will and it is good practice to destroy the old Will to avoid any possible confusion.
The process of changing a Will is very straight forward, but we recommend it is done properly.
If your circumstances have changed and you need to update your Will, please get in touch with us. Of course, if you have not yet made a Will, it makes very good sense to prepare one. Get in touch with us now: