Making a Will – Legality and Updating your Will
Make Sure your Will is Legal
For your will to be legally valid, you must:
- be 18 or over
- make it voluntarily
- be of sound mind
- make it in writing
- sign it in the presence of 2 witnesses who are both over 18
- have it signed by your 2 witnesses, in your presence
If you make any changes to your will you must follow the same signing and witnessing process.
You can’t leave your witnesses (or their married partners) anything in your will.
Update your Will
You should review your will every 5 years and after any major change in your life, e.g:
- getting separated or divorced
- getting married (this cancels any will you made before)
- having a child
- moving house
- if the executor named in the will dies
Making Changes to your Will
You can’t amend your will after it’s been signed and witnessed. The only way you can change a will is by making an official alteration called a codicil.
You must sign a codicil and get it witnessed in the same way as witnessing a will.
There’s no limit on how many codicils you can add to a will.
Making a New Will
For major changes you should make a new will.
Your new will should explain that it revokes (officially cancels) all previous wills and codicils. You should destroy your old will by burning it or tearing it up.
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