Can I amend my will?

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September 15, 2017
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Having a will is a final statement of how you want your assets to be managed after your death. However, sometimes you may want to change it. You may have had a child, for example, and what to add him/her into your will. You may have also acquired more assets and would like to reconsider how they get divided among your possible heirs.

What is a codicil?

When you want to add something to your will or make a minor change, then you can make use of a codicil. A codicil is a schedule or annexure to an existing will, which is made to supplement or to amend an existing will. A codicil must comply with the same requirements for a valid will. A codicil need not be signed by the same witnesses who signed the original will.

What if I want to amend my will?

Amendments to a will can only be made while executing a will or after the date of execution of the will. Amendments to a will must comply with the same requirements for a valid will and if you cannot write, with the same requirements listed under that heading. When amending a will, the same witnesses who signed the original will need not sign it.

Must I amend my will after divorce?

A bequest to your divorced spouse in your will, which was made prior to your divorce, will not necessarily fall away after divorce.

The Wills Act stipulates that, except where you expressly provide otherwise, a bequest to your divorced spouse will be deemed revoked if you die within three months of the divorce.

This provision is to allow a divorced person a period of three months to amend his/her will, after the trauma of a divorce.

Should you however fail to amend your will within three months after your divorce, the deemed revocation rule will fall away, and your divorced spouse will benefit as indicated in the will.

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This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)