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Can I change my Will?

A will is a legal binding document reflecting a person’s wishes regarding their property, financial assets, personal circumstances and family circumstances. This means that as life changes, so should your Will, to give an accurate representation of what you want after you pass away. You can change your Will any time you like, and it is recommended that you review your Will every five years to make any updates required. It is just important that you change your Will correctly.


WHY MIGHT I WANT TO CHANGE MY WILL?

There are a variety of reasons why you may want to change your Will, however, if you are unsure then you should consider changing your Will in the following circumstances:

  • If you wish to change any of the named people in your Will, for example, your executors, beneficiaries or guardians for your children.

  • If you wish to change any of the instructions in your Will.

  • If you wish to add any specific gifts.

  • If you have gifted a specific property in your Will and you sell that property.

  • If your marital or civil partnership status changes.

  • If you have any more children or grandchildren.

  • If you need to update any names or addresses.

HOW CAN I CHANGE MY WILL?

Whilst you can make alterations to your Will at any time, it is vital that you do so by the appropriate channels to ensure that those changes are legally binding.

There are only two methods of changing your Will in Scotland:

  • A codicil

  • Drawing up a new Will

CODICIL A codicil is legal document which allows you to make amendments to your Will. The amendments are written in the codicil which is signed and witnessed the same way your Will is. Although a codicil can seem like a quick and easy way to update your Will, it should only be used for very small amendments and if there are too many amendments or too many codicils it can cause confusion or ambiguity, creating a risk of potential legal disputes when trying to divide your estate. If you do wish to have a codicil it is important to have it drawn up or checked by professionals however, in most cases it is easier and less risky to have a new Will drafted.


DRAWING UP A NEW WILL

Having a new Will drawn up to include amendments often just requires changes being made to an older Will, however, it must be drawn up on a new document and must be signed and witnessed correctly. When drawing up a new Will, you must ensure that it cancels all others. All Wills should include a revocation clause. This clause revokes all previous Wills and determines this, most recent document, as your Will.


If you do wish to make changes or additions you cannot just write those into your current Will, they will be viewed as alterations made after the signing and will not be legally binding. It is extremely important when updating your Will to draft a new Will which includes those changes and then have it signed and witnessed properly. We would always recommend having any changes to your Will done by a professional.


They will draft your new Will and once you have signed it, they will verify that you have done so correctly, that way you will have peace of mind that your Will reflects your current wishes and that it is legally binding.

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