If you have made a Will, you may need to change your Will along the way. For instance, certain major life events may occur, making it necessary for you to change you Will.
When Might You Want to Revoke Your Will?
You may want to revoke your Will if certain major life events occur:
1. You may have new family members whom you want to inherit your assets. For instance, you may have a new child or even a new grandchild.
2. People listed in your Will (e.g. beneficiaries or executors) may have passed on. You may want to removed deceased persons from your Will.
3. You may have acquired new properties which you want to include in your Will.
4. You may have gone through a major personal life event such as a divorce or separation.
5. You may have a change of religious beliefs and you may want to make certain donations to your chosen religious institutions.
Wills are automatically revoked upon marriage. However, getting divorced/ separated does not revoke your Will.
How Do You Add to Your Will in Singapore?
You may make amendments to your previous Will by adding a codicil. This document will allow you to add to your original Will, explain it further, modify it or revoke part of the Will. Amendments may be minor (e.g. changing the name of the executor) or it could be so major that the Will is changed entirely. The usual rules for executing a Will apply (e.g. having 2 witnesses to the execution of the codicil).
How Do You Revoke a Will in Singapore?
For most people, it may be a cleaner approach to revoke the original Will altogether and have a new Will prepared. This is especially helpful if you are making substantial changes to the Will. It will also be clearer. Readers of the Will do not need to refer to 2 separate documents (the original Will and the codicil) when understanding your wishes.
To revoke a Will in Singapore, you should tear up your previous Will and even shred it to avoid confusion. You should also update the Wills Registry and inform your executors and family members on the whereabouts of your latest Will.
Should You Make Changes to Your Will by Yourself?
No, this is not advisable. If you are a layperson, you may make changes which may not reflect your true intentions. Further, if you make amendments which are in conflict with the original Will, the entire Will may be invalidated.
The more prudent way of making changes to your Will, or revoking your Will, would be to seek the advice of an experienced Wills lawyer. Being experienced and well-versed in the law, your Wills lawyer will be able to help you amend your original Will, or revoke your original Will and have a new one prepared in a legally appropriate manner. This will reduce the possibility of the Will being challenged (or invalidated) later on.
If you have more questions on how to revoke a Will in Singapore, you should speak to a Wills lawyer at the earliest opportunity.
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