Help with reviewing and changing your Will

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Your financial and family circumstances change as time passes, so it is important that you review the terms of your Will at regular intervals. We recommend that at least once every five years you carefully consider whether you need to make a new Will, or whether you need to change your existing Will.

Reasons for changing an existing Will

You may wish to make a new Will or consider changing your existing Will in the following cases:

  • If there are changes to the Inheritance Tax rules, or other relevant changes in legislation.
  • If you get married or divorced.
  • If you buy or sell anything that you have made a specific gift of in your Will.
  • If you have more children.
  • If you move outside the UK.
  • If the person you appointed as a guardian dies, or becomes too ill to look after your children if you die.
  • If you want to change your executors.
  • If you change your mind about anything in your Will.

In all these circumstances, it is best to make the position absolutely clear with a new Will.

Your Will is cancelled automatically, if:

  • You make a subsequent Will
  • You get married or enter a civil partnership
  • Your Will is physically destroyed

You will then need to make a new Will or the rules of intestacy will apply.

Changing a Will – adding a codicil

There are situations in which you might want to keep a previous Will, but just make minor changes to it. You can do this by making a codicil.

If you want to make more fundamental changes to your Will, we recommend making a new Will.

We advise that any codicil is professionally drawn up as it may otherwise have unintended consequences. Please also remember that to be effective a codicil must be signed, witnessed and dated in the same way as a Will.

The codicil is subject to the same formal requirements as the Will. Common uses of a codicil are:

  • To change an executor
  • To change a specific gift
  • To add a beneficiary
  • Other minor alterations

If you want to make more fundamental changes to your Will, we recommend making a new Will.

We also recommend making a new Will if you do not want people to know the specific changes in your Will, as your last Will and codicils to it become public documents once Grant of Probate has been issued.

Changing a Will – How we can help

At Nelsons, we have a team of expert Wills and Probate solicitors in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham, who:

  • Deal with the administration of many high value estates and Inheritance Tax issues;
  • Advise and assist executors appointed to administer the estate of a deceased friend or relative; and
  • Help the family of those who die without a Will to sort out the consequences of intestacy.

Our team offer a choice of ways to help you when making or changing a Will, according to how much you want to spend and how much support you would like.

Also, whilst Wills are quite personal documents and many of our clients prefer having face-to-face contact, we are able to speak to you regarding the creation or updating of a Will over the phone or other electronic means (e.g. a video call). We will talk through your circumstances and then draft the Will, which would then be sent out to you by e-mail or post for your approval.

Please call us on 0800 024 1976 or contact us via our online enquiry form to discuss how to ensure that the terms of your Will are exactly as you intend them.

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Find out how Nelsons can help you. Contact our friendly team for a guaranteed fast response.

For advice and support 0800 024 1976
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