Your will is a living document that can be edited and updated. As life changes, your will also needs to be revised. Are you making the mistake of keeping your will away and forgetting about it? If this is your situation, then it’s time to modify your will. Also, don’t let your emotions trigger your decision of changing the will.
# When can you change your will?
These below-given events may lead you to change your will:
- When you get married - After marriage, you need to put your new spouse’s name in your will. Or, you want to create a new will after marriage. Your partner has the legal right to claim a share of your property after your death.
- When you are divorced - You will want to change your will once you get separated from your spouse. It’s better to make a new will after a divorce.
- When you are unmarried and have a new partner - You are not married and have a new partner, and you want your partner to inherit your property. So, you need to make a new will because, without it, your partner won’t inherit anything.
- When you have lost your spouse - If your spouse holds a good portion of your estate in your will, then you need to change your will after the death of your spouse.
- When you welcome a new baby in the family - It is quite obvious that you will change your will after you bring home a new baby to secure his or her future.
- When you have new stepchildren - Do you want to give your stepchildren a share from your property? If yes, then you must legally adopt them or adjust your will accordingly. Remember, without a legal adoption, your stepchildren have no right to inherit anything from you.
- When one of your heirs die - You need to update your will, when an heir dies before you.
- When you notice a meaningful change in your estate’s value - You may want to change your will if you come across a symbolic change in your estate’s value. For instance, rise and fall of your stock holdings may result in a change of the will.
- When you want to change your inheritor - You can also change your will when you decide to change your heir or want to give a share of your property to some charity.
# How can you change your will?
Well, you have made up your mind to change your will. Now, what? Do you know how to change a will? If no, then this section will solve your problem.
There are two ways to change a will. Check out, which one is appropriate for you:
1. Create an entirely new will
Making a new will is relatively a straightforward job. Besides, technology has made it even easier. Your lawyer does not have to construct a new will starting from scratch. When you fully create a new will, it nullifies your current will.
2. Change specific parts of your will
You may not change your entire will. Instead, you can change or delete certain portions, or add new parts to your current will. To do this, you’ll require a form called a “codicil.”
You can use a codicil in two circumstances, such as:
- Your will is too long, and you only need to make few, minor changes.
- Someone challenges your capability at the time of executing the codicil.
What should you require for a valid codicil?
The codicil must be:
- In writing.
- Signed by the testator.
- Witnessed by two people.
- Intended by you to take effect as a codicil to the will.
If you want to make sure that the changes to your will are done according to proper procedures and are legally valid, then you must consult a lawyer.
See also - What to do next when you are left out of the will