Three Important Elements to Consider When Changing a Will

A valid will is essential in limiting disputes over your property when you pass away. You can choose to prepare your own will, but it is preferable to engage the services of an expert attorney. Normally, your prepared will is considered valid as long as the document is in writing and has been signed before at least two witnesses. Unfortunately, your personal circumstances can change, making your will invalid or subject to contest. For that reason, you will have to revise the details of the will to ensure that it reflects your current situation. Here are the important elements that you should consider when changing your will.

Circumstances Affecting the Will

It is important to understand the circumstances in your life that will affect the validity or power of your current will. This will let you know when it is time to make changes to avoid disputes and protect your loved ones against challenges. Marriage will cancel out your existing will to accommodate the new family, so you should consider including them yourself to avoid confusion. However, if you prepare the will when planning for marriage, it might still be considered valid. If you get divorced, your ex-spouse will be excluded from the will, but it is still wise to make your own changes. Separation will not affect the will. You should also consider modification after acquiring new assets or taking up new business interests.

Adding Codicil

The codicil is a special document that is prepared to amend the current will, without making the entire testament invalid. You can use this type of modification to alter the will if you only want to make some limited changes. The codicil must be prepared in the same way as the original will to be considered legally acceptable. This means that the amendment must be written and two witnesses must be available during the signing process. You should ensure that the content of the codicil does not cause confusion or contradict the information in the primary will. Otherwise, it might be deemed invalid when assessed after your departure.

Revoking or Destroying Will

If you want to make significant modifications to your existing will, you should consider revoking or destroying the document. Generally, revoking is an advantageous choice in case an unscrupulous person has already obtained the old document. This process involves preparing a new will and stating that other wills prepared before that one are invalid. Still, it is wise to destroy the old will as an extra precaution by burning, shredding or tearing.