Q. I made a will a few years ago leaving everything to my niece as I don’t have children of my own. Last year I met a wonderful man who has been a great friend and companion and I’d like to change my will to leave everything to him. Can I simply amend the existing document without contacting a solicitor?
A. If you intend to make significant changes to your Will then you will need to start afresh with a new Will rather than making amendments on the face of your current Will. There are complex rules concerning handwritten amendments to original Wills, which can cause confusion and uncertainty in dealing with your estate.
You can make your own homemade Will; there is no obligation to take legal advice in making a Will. However you might find it reassuring to take advice from a solicitor experienced in the field of Wills, as they will be able to advise on the appropriate Will for you, taking into account your wishes and obligations as well as ensuring that the Will you eventually sign will meet with the necessary legal requirements to be a valid Will. You could also take advice on Inheritance Tax planning or other planning issues at the same time.
Jo Wild, Solicitor
This article was previously published in the Stamford Mercury.