How to Cancel and Destroy Your Will

Circumstances change and there may be times when you want to cancel a Will that you executed previously. How do you do that?

How to cancel and destroy your Will

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.

1. Codicil

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.

Filed under: Wills and Probate
Benjamin Li Yong Le

About the Author - Benjamin Li Yong Le

Benjamin Li Yong Le (“Ben”), is an Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore. Ben is currently running his own boutique corporate and commercial law firm under the name and style of L’Avocat Law.

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