Kith & Kin

Can I change a will without the executor knowing?

woman preparing to write changes to will without executor of will

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

After you change your will, you might be wondering whether you need to inform your executor of the revisions you have made. Is this a necessary step to ensure the validity of your will?

Technically speaking, the answer is no. Whether you have opted to write a codicil or a new will, they are considered valid as long as the formalities of will writing are followed. These requirements include signing the will in the presence of two witnesses, who must also sign the document in your presence.

That said, it is still advisable to inform your executor of will that you have made changes. This person will be the one responsible for executing your wishes stated in your will, so it is best that they have the most accurate and latest information about your will.

When you change your will, make sure that you also advise the executor of will where the latest document is stored, so they know where to retrieve it when the time comes.

It is also a good idea to discuss this obligation with your chosen executor ahead of time, so they understand your expectations from them. Check with them from time to time to ensure that they are still committed to the task.

Among the duties of an executor of will are:

1. Making sure the will is filed in the appropriate probate court

They are also in charge of deciding if it is necessary for the court to approve the validity of the will. This decision of whether or not to probate a will can often depend upon certain state laws.

2. Wrapping up your affairs

This includes closing bank accounts, cancelling credit cards, paying final taxes, and as needed, contacting the Social Security Administration or other relevant agencies. An executor of will would also need to pay off your debts and creditors before the inheritance could be distributed.

3. Locating and identifying your assets stated on the will

In most cases, the executor is also responsible for the safekeeping of these assets until they are distributed to your beneficiaries or creditors.

4. Locating and contacting beneficiaries

Upon your death, the executor of will is generally in charge of making sure that the assets go to the correct people named in the will.

5. Ensuring the proper distribution of your property

As an executor to the will, they should be able to carry out your wishes as to how you want your estate to be divided upon your death. If you change your will without the executor knowing of the amendments, they might refer to your old will as they fulfil their duties as executor.

When you change your will, you are not required to advise your executor of the changes. However, since they carry a vital role in the enforcement of your will, we recommend letting them know of the modifications. This avoids confusion in the future and is an opportunity for you to confirm that they are still up to the task of executor.

Do you need a lawyer to write a will?

If you are asking yourself whether do you need a lawyer to write a will, the answer is also no. As long as you are aware of what constitutes a valid will and understand the circumstances when can a will be contested. With a lot of resources online, you can easily perform a search to discover how do you write a will and testament.

In most cases, however, it will be helpful to have a professional’s advice. A wills lawyer will be able to provide you with legal insights on the process of changing or writing a will.

Here at Kith & Kin Law Corporation, we offer expert advice on Will Writing Singapore with the conviction to provide the best approach based on our client’s personal circumstances and needs.

If you would like more information about changing your will, we are here to help. Get in touch with us today.