The simple answer is YES. You can update, revoke or change your will as long as you are mentally capable to do so. You can change your will by making a new one or by making a codicil which is a separate document.
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document that indicates your wishes for the distribution of your assets and property after you pass away. Since this document will be used as a guide while distributing your estate, it is important to ensure that your will reflects your current wishes and circumstances.
Making Changes to Your Will
If you only need to make minor adjustments to your Will, you can do so by creating a formal document known as a “codicil.” However, it is not always acceptable to simply cross out certain parts of your Will and insert new changes. This is generally not considered legally valid.
A codicil is a formal amendment to your Will that cancels or modifies certain parts or adds new provisions to it. It must reference your original Will and clearly state the specific changes you wish to make. Like a Will, a codicil must be prepared properly.
You might prepare a codicil on your own or consult a lawyer to do so since just like the Will it has certain formal requirements to be legally valid and enforceable. (date, witnesses etc.)
There is no limit on the number of codicils you can have. But if you need to make lots of changes or if you wish to make major changes to your Will, you might want to consider drafting a new Will to avoid any potential future confusion due to having multiple documents. By drafting a new will, you can eliminate the risk of misplacing or misinterpreting any additional sheets that might be added to your previous will.
Review Your Current Will
Before you make any changes to your current will, it is important to review it and identify the specific changes you want to make. This can include changing the distribution of assets, updating the names of beneficiaries, or appointing a new executor. Also, be aware that there might be potential tax implications for your changes.
When Should I Make Changes to My Will?
There is no time frame or a specific reason for changing your will, it is common to update it as you go through different stages in life. For instance, many people choose to change their will after getting married or divorced or having children. As your children grow older or there are new additions to the family, you might want to modify their designation in your will. In addition, you might want to update your will if your executor becomes unable to act as your agent (especially if there is no contingency plan in your current will)
You might want to review your will every couple of years to ensure your will aligns with your current wishes and circumstances, even if you believe your situation has not changed.
An experienced Toronto Will Lawyer can help you understand the legal requirements for changing a will in Ontario and provide advice on how to structure your changes and ensure that your wishes are properly reflected. Contact us today and see how Insight Law Professional Corporation can assist you with changing your Will!
The information provided above is of a general nature and should not be considered legal advice. Every transaction or circumstance is unique, and obtaining specific legal advice is necessary to address your particular requirements. Therefore, if you have any legal questions, it is recommended that you consult with a lawyer.