Things change all the time, so it’s important you review your Will on a regular basis or when anything big happens in your life which is likely to affect the choices you’ve made.
Typical reasons for changing your Will
- If you have children (more children) or grandchildren.
- If you get married – marriage automatically revokes a Will in England and Wales (but not in Scotland).
- If you get divorced.
- Someone named in your Will as a beneficiary, executor or guardian has died.
- If there are changes to inheritance tax rules or other legislation.
- If you’ve sold something you’ve named as a gift in your Will or if you’ve bought something new.
- If you’ve simply changed your mind about anything or anyone named in your Will.
Amend your Will or write a new one?
When it comes to making changes to your Will you typically have two options – writing a new Will or adding a codicil.
Writing a new Will keeps things simple. Under English and Welsh law a Will can be revoked by a later Will. So the simplest thing to do is to make a new Will which makes clear that any previous Wills are revoked. This avoids any inconsistency. Since most Wills are written and stored electronically making a new Will can be done easily without having to start from scratch.
A codicil allows for amends to be made to an existing Will by detailing the changes in a separate document. This must be signed and witnessed the same way as a Will to be valid. This is a more old fashioned way of making changes, a relic of when Wills were still handwritten and costly to re-write. The risk with a codicil is that it doesn’t work properly with the existing Will, leading to unintended consequences.
At Affio we don’t use codicils, we recognise the need to keep things simple and besides, creating a new Will is much easier and less likely to lead to a dispute.
We want you to be completely happy with your Will, so during the first 12 months of having an Affio Will you can make as many changes to it as you need to without charge. Getting it right is just as important to us as it is to you.