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.
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.