Wills need to be regularly updated to ensure that your last wishes are still in line with your current financial and family situation. A codicil is an additional document to your Will which updates or revokes a specific clause within your Will. For small changes to your Will a codicil is the perfect way to make an amendment as it amends the Will without you having to redraft the entire Will.
There are certain changes which you can make via codicil. They are as follows:
1. Change the executor of the Will (the individual appointed to deal with your estate when you are gone)
2. Change your funeral arrangements
3. Appoint a different guardian
4. Change values of gifts
5. Change a trustee
6. If a beneficiary of your Will passes away you can give the items/gifts they would have received to a different individual.
However if you need to make a large change to your Will, this will require you to redraft the Will. If you need to make more than one small change you will also need to redraft your Will. Large changes to your Will are:- removing a beneficiary or changing the main beneficiary of the Will and adding a child to the Will. This is because they are all significant changes to the distribution of the estate and must be dealt with using appropriate legal care and attention to prevent the Will being contested at a later date. You will have to ensure that any changes which could cause a dispute are fully explained, for both the benefit of your family members and the lawyers dealing with the Will.
When should I update my Will?
Whenever a significant life event occurs you should consider updating your Will, so following a birth, a death, a divorce, a marriage or large change in your financial situation. When you get married a previous Will is automatically rendered void. However, when you get a divorce this does not mean they cease to be a beneficiary of your Will, you will have to actively remove your ex-partner from the Will should you feel you need to. It should also be noted it is important to update your Will following a birth as even if your other children are all beneficiaries of the Will your newborn will not be added to the Will automatically. You should contact a solicitor if you need to make a change to your Will, be this be a total redraft or an amendment via codicil.
If you need to amend or redraft your Will, contact Roskell Davies today. Call 0800 142 2901 or fill in an online enquiry for a completely free and no obligation initial consultation with one of our team.