Changing a Will

Changing a Will

You can change your Will as often as you like.

You can amend your Will with a codicil but the best way to change your Will is to make a new one. Making a new Will automatically cancels your old one.

When you should change your Will

The nature of your relationships may affect how your estate is distributed.

You should also make a new Will if you:

  • get married
  • divorce or separate
  • buy a significant asset or investment
  • get involved in a new business, company or trust.

Marriage

Marrying (or remarrying) automatically cancels your Will, unless your Will clearly shows you were planning this marriage when you made it.

Divorce

There are legal rules about how your Will operates if you get a divorce. Generally the Will takes effect as if the divorced spouse had died before you. However it is best to change your Will. Get legal advice.

Separation

If you separate, your former partner will still get your property unless you make a new Will. It is not automatically revoked.

It is important that you make a new Will after the break up of any relationship so that it cancels your old one.

How to change a Will

If you make a Will and later decide that you want to make changes, you can either:

  • add a codicil to the existing Will
  • revoke the Will and write a completely new one
  • destroy the Will.

Codicils

Codicils are only used to make minor changes to a Will. If you add a codicil to an existing Will, you must make sure that what you add doesn't:

  • cause confusion
  • contradict parts of the original Will.

If the codicil causes confusion, it may be deemed invalid.

Revoking a Will

A Will can be revoked by making another valid Will. See Making a valid Will.

You should state on the new document that you revoke all previous Wills.

Get help

Find out how you can get help with Wills and estates.