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How can you update your will?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023

You should update your will when circumstances change. These include marriage, divorce, the birth/adoption of a child/grandchild, new stepchildren and the purchase/sale of an asset. You can also update your will when you want to remove a beneficiary or change the executor.

But how can you do it? Below are two ways to update your will:

Write a new will  

If you want to make a major change, it may be best to revoke your will and create a new one. You will observe the requirements you did when drafting the previous will, including having the required testamentary capacity, the presence of at least two witnesses to sign the will and so on.

You should state in your new will that you have revoked all prior ones. But you can also revoke a will by destroying it appropriately. You should be the one who destroys it, or another person can do it in your presence and by your direction. 

Write a codicil

If you have a minor change, perhaps you want to add a beneficiary, you can update your will by a separate document called a codicil. The codicil will state the specific update you want to make. Note that you can write as many codicils as you want and attach them to your will.

Since it’s a legal document, a codicil observes the same formalities as a will. You will date and sign it. Witnesses should be present when doing this. 

Even though it’s used for minor alterations, codicils can be tricky. Thus, it’s crucial to obtain adequate information to approach it from the right angle.

Chances are your life will change after writing your will. Accordingly, you should update it. Consider getting legal help to validate your changes.