"For Every Stage In Life"
Amendments to Wills
A testator is free to make changes to his Will at any point before his or her death. Changes can include:
- Adding in new content;
- Deleting or cancelling content;
- Making adjustments to the content of the Will.
How can a testator make amendments?
A testator may amend his or her Will in one or two ways:
- Execution of a codicil: A codicil is an addendum to an existing Will containing further information giving effect to the amendments. It is executed in the same manner as a Will.
- Making physical changes to the written Will: Includes scratching out, writing on Will etc.
Two Instances in Which Amendments can be made
Amendments can either be made before the Will has been executed or after the Will has been executed.
Where the Will has not yet been executed, any changes made are not subject to any formalities. Where the amendments are made on a printed physical copy such amendments should be signed by the testator and two witnesses (This is not a recommended practice, We at KP Fiduciary Solutions recommend redrafting the entire Will and executing it as per the prescribed formalities).
However, amendments made after a Will has already been executed, such amendments are subject to certain prescribed formalities. In such instances, the amendments must be confirmed by way of signature by the testator and two witnesses as close to the amendments as possible. It is not necessary that the witnesses be the same as those present when the initial Will was executed.
NOTE: Amendments merely aim to make changes to the Will and not cancel the entire will. Where the testator wishes to cancel the whole Will, he must revoke the Will. (See discussion on Revoking a Will). We also advise against the use of codicils as they can create unnecessary complications, it is much smarter to revoke the prior Will and make use of a new Will reflecting the necessary changes.
Key Takeaway: Amendments may only be made during the testator’s lifetime and such amendments must be confirmed by way of signature.