There are a few ways you can go about revamping or overhauling your personal will, but it’s always advisable to seek legal counsel to ensure all possible factors are considered and the correct avenue is taken thereafter. It’s not totally imperative that a legal professional is to involve themselves in the process, but in some instances, it may be more applicable than others.
In order to make changes to an existing will, you will need to formulate a codicil which can be a difficult procedure, and seeking the assistance of a solicitor is necessary if you aren’t familiar with the steps involved. There are rules that surround codicils, and having legal counsel run you through the steps can be incredibly beneficial.
A codicil is a legal document that serves as a testimony to a will’s formal alteration. It is similar to a will in nature, and can act as both an amendment to an executed will or as a complete alternative to a will. Some definitions describe a codicil as a will, but certain legal environments outline significant differences between the two. In any scenario, the codicil must be signed and witnessed in an identical fashion to how an executed will is done.
A solicitor can advise you on whether or not a codicil is the correct measure to take when altering a will, and in some situations, may notify you that a completely new will should be created. If you are advised to create an entirely different will, all preexisting wills will be rendered null and void.
Additional measures must be taken if certain elements are applicable to your unique situation. These can include:
- The birth of an heir of next of kin.
- A personal inheritance.
- A divorce.
- Issues related to language difficulties and barriers.
For the first two points, it is crucial that you seek out the assistance of a trained professional, as the details can prove themselves a little complicated for summary. These may or may not prove themselves to affect your will in anyway, but gaining the assistance of a legal counsel will ensure that every possible variable is covered.
If you have recently formalised a divorce, it’s important to note that existing wills are not automatically cancelled. It will be wise to create a new will, so the courts know that you were clear in your desires to include certain details in your will that may relate to your divorce. Divorce automatically erases gifts made to a former spouse, but a ruling can be made indifferent to this fact if the courts decide the intentions of the gift holder were clear prior to and throughout a marriage union.
If you or anybody else relevant to the will requires translators as per any hindrances that prove to present themselves with regards to the will’s execution, it is important that you seek out the assistance of a certified translator in order to ensure no further hindrances persist.