How to Cancel and Destroy Your Will
Published on 6th January, 2020 by Benjamin Li Yong Le
Circumstances change and there may be times when you want to cancel a Will that you executed previously. How do you do that?
If you have made a Will previously, there may come a time in the future when your wishes change or your circumstances require your Will to be changed e.g. insert new beneficiaries or insert new assets to be given away.
There are a few ways to go about cancelling your old Will.
A codicil is a document to officially amend an existing will and must be executed in accordance with the Wills Act and be witnessed by two persons.
A codicil does not revoke the old will but leaves the existing will intact except for the particular provisions that it changes. We do not recommend clients to do a codicil since the price is about the same as executing a new Will.
There are no advantages to a codicil but many disadvantages including having to find both documents which have to be read together as one.
There is an increased risk of either document being misplaced i.e. what if the codicil is found but family members cannot find the original Will?
2. Executing new Will
The simplest solution is to execute a new Will which contains a clause to cancel the old Will.
3. Destroying the old Will
Destroying the old Will is as simple as tearing it and throwing it into the trash, burning it or shredding it. It is also important to destroy all copies (especially those you handed to your executors) to avoid disputes in future as to which Will is the valid one.