How to Revoke a Will

Due to unforeseen circumstances, you may now wish to cancel a will that you wrote years ago. How can you go about this? Prestige Tax and Trust Services explains how to revoke a will.

Writing a will

We would advise you to write a will before passing away. With a will, you can ensure that your loved ones inherit the assets held in your estate. But what if your life changes and you now wish to re-distribute your estate? You will need to revoke your will and there are several ways to go about this.

Destroying a will

The most common way of revoking a will is destroying it and making another. Destroy the will yourself, as asking your executor to do it carries no legal weight, unless they do so in your presence. Ensure that there is nothing left of the will. If a copy, or even pieces, of your will reappears the courts could decide that it was destroyed accidentally and in these circumstances, it can be declared legally valid.

Revocation clauses

Once your old will has been destroyed, you can write a new will. As a safety measure, it is wise to include a revocation clause in your new will, to avoid any potential confusion after you pass away. When writing a revocation clause, you will need to specifically state this will replaces all former ones and that this is the most recent and effective will, so it cannot be challenged in court.

Changing your will

But wat if you do not want to go as far as destroying your old will and writing a new one? As an alternative, you can change your will instead, something which as long as you are of sound mind, you can do at any time you wish fairly easily. In fact, at Prestige Tax and Trust Services, we would recommend that you update your will every five years, to reflect your evolving life circumstances.

To change your will, you are required to write a codicil. There are two types of codicil. One places an extra clause into your will, which can prove convenient, say, if you acquire a new asset and want to bequeath it to a loved one. The other revokes an existing clause in your will and creates new one, which could prove useful, for instance, if a beneficiary passes away and you want to create a new one.

Prestige Tax and Trust Services

It is advisable to tread extremely carefully when you decide to revoke your will. If any errors are committed, your old will could remain valid, so your wishes will not be carried out after you pass away. Therefore, it is wise to enlist expert aid when writing a codicil or a new will. Here at Prestige Tax and Trust Services, we have the will writing expertise required to help you handle these matters.

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How to Plan Your Funeral in Advance

It is wise to start preparing your funeral as soon as possible, so you can safeguard your loved ones’ inheritance. Prestige Tax and Trust Services explains how to plan your funeral in advance.

Writing your will

When planning for your funeral, it is key that you learn how to make a will. In this document, you can state your wishes over how your estate should be divided among your loved ones and for your funeral. It is important to note that any funeral wishes expressed in your will are not legally binding and it will ultimately fall to the executor of your estate to plan your funeral.

Choosing your executor

Therefore, it is vital that you think carefully when choosing your executor although normally, they will carry out your funeral wishes as standard. When selecting your executor, prioritise characteristics such as honesty, so this role goes to someone you can trust to carry out your funeral plans.

Your executor will have to register your death before arranging your funeral. Whoever you pick, ensure they can handle the legal responsibilities executorship, so your funeral can take place as soon as possible. You will also need to plan the specifics of your funeral and include these details in your will, so your chosen executor knows exactly what they are required to do for your funeral.

Funeral considerations

When arranging your funeral, there are a number of factors you will need to take into consideration. Ask yourself the following questions, to ensure you communicate your funeral wishes in your will.

  • Where should your funeral take place?
  • Do you want to be buried or cremated? Where should this take place?
  • If you wish to be buried, what kind of coffin do you want?
  • If you wish to be cremated, where should your ashes be scattered?
  • Do you want a religious or a non-religious service?
  • What should be included e.g. music, poems, reading etc. in the service?
  • What would you like your body to be dressed in for your funeral?
  • Do you want flowers? Which flowers would you like?
  • Which funeral director should handle the event?
  • Who should be on the guest list for your funeral?
  • How will you pay for your funeral?

With this last question, there is a lot to consider, from funeral director fees and service/wake expenses to burial/cremation costs. If possible, place the money needed aside ahead of time. You could also invest in a pre-paid funeral, which allows you to avoid inflation by paying at today’s prices. Otherwise, your estate will be used to meet your funeral costs, so your loved ones will inherit less.

Prestige Tax and Trust Services

Therefore, with so much to consider, it is vital that you write a carefully-worded will, so your executor knows exactly how to plan your funeral. Prestige Tax and Trust Services has the experience and legal acumen you need to handle will-related matters, allowing you prepare for your death effectively.

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