Can I change my Will simply by making changes on the one I have?

Once a Will has been correctly signed and witnessed you should never make physical changes to it. If you do, it will usually be the Court who has to decide whether these were made before or after the Will was originally signed. Needless to say, this will prove an expensive exercise.

If you want to change your Will, it is a relatively simple matter for us to retrieve a Will we have drawn up from the digital archives, make the necessary changes and to produce a new one for signing and witnessing.

What if I (re)marry or obtain a divorce after I have made my Will?

If you marry or remarry after the date of your Will, the Will is automatically revoked unless it had been written specifically in contemplation of your intended marriage and this had been stated in the Will.

Contrary to popular belief, getting divorced does not revoke your Will. However, any gifts to your former spouse or their appointment as an Executor (the person who deals with the administration of your affairs after your death) will not have effect.

The Will is interpreted as though they had predeceased you, unless in the Will you had specifically stated that any such gifts, or appointment, are still to have effect even if at your death you are no longer married to that person.

Can I give my girlfriend or my future second wife the right to live in my property?

Yes, you can do this in two ways.

You can either give them the right to live there as long as it is their main residence.

You can give them a life interest, in which case they could rent it out and keep the rental income.

Either way, they do not own the property outright, and on the termination of their interest the property will pass to whoever you have named in your Will.

It is a good way of ensuring your assets eventually pass to your own children or other family, while making provision for your life partner.

We can explain the relative merits and any disadvantages of such a gift.