Kith & Kin

How do I change or revoke a will?

closeup of pencil with eraser used in will writing

Photo by Kim Gorga on Unsplash

To revise your will is to keep up with the life changes that are occurring in your life. When certain life events occur, it’s important to keep the welfare of your loved ones secured. The best action you can take for your estate is to update your will.

To proceed with changes or updates on your will, you have two options:

OPTION 1: Make a codicil to supplement the will

If you are looking to make minimal changes to your will, then a codicil is a viable option. This legal document is similar to a postscript that allows you to update your will.

It explains, modifies, or revokes the will in part or in whole. Upon your death, these two documents will be read and interpreted together. Just like a will, a codicil has to be signed in the presence of two witnesses.

OPTION 2: Make a new will

In most cases, rather than update your will, it is better to just make an entirely new will.

Will writing may take a little more time and effort than a codicil. However, a new will provides clarity regarding your wishes because there is only one document to consider. You also avoid the risk of losing the extra sheets or having these misplaced.

Do you need a lawyer to write a will?

Nowadays, online interactive forms and software have made the creation of new will easier than writing a codicil. There are even several resources to learn how do you write a will and testament and a simple online search to ‘write my will’ will give you several good results.

Just remember that in writing a new will, you want to make sure that you or your lawyer add an express revocation clause. This states that any old wills are revoked when you update your will and when the new will is signed. Without an express revocation clause, only those provisions that are incompatible with the new will are revoked.

You would also want to avoid instances that provoke the question ‘when can a will be contested?’ So it is essential to know the grounds to invalidate a will.

What are other ways in which a will is revoked?

1. Marriage or civil partnership

In Singapore, your will is automatically revoked when you enter a marriage. The law assumes that there are changes on how you would like your estate to be divided, presumably with a much larger share going to your new spouse.

That said, does divorce revoke a will? Your will is not automatically revoked in a divorce, so you have to make sure to update your will in this scenario.

2. Intentional revocation

The law specifies that in order to revoke a will, it must be utterly destroyed. This means tearing up or burning the original signed document, as well as additional copies of the will. It shows the intention that you no longer consider your old will as valid.

If the document is kept somewhere else (in a bank or with a solicitor for example), it’s best to provide them with written instructions to destroy the will. Otherwise, your will may not be considered revoked.

It is recommended to have two or more persons witnessing the revocation to prevent contests to the will. Any person can stand as witness to the revoking of the will as long as the mandatory age minimum requirement is met.

You may still be wondering whether do you need a lawyer to write a will, or make changes on your existing one. Technically speaking, you can write your own will as long as you take into consideration the requirements of a valid will.

In most cases, 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 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 need help in updating your will, we’ll be glad to assist you. Send us a message and let us know about your requirements.