Your will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death.
If you make a will you can also make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than you need to. You can write your will yourself, but you should get advice if your will isn’t straightforward.
You need to get your will formally witnessed and signed to make it legally valid.
If you want to update your will, you need to make an official alteration (called a ‘codicil’) or make a new 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.
Update your will
You should review your will every 5 years and after any major change in your life, for example:
- 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 cannot 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.