I have a small business which is left to my daughter. Currently a small sum is left to a member of staff. This bequest I wish to cancel and replace her with another employee.
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You cannot alter a will. What you can do is write a codicil to theexisting will, which is a document which varies the existing will.
It is a separate piece of paper and not attached to it. Bothpieces of paper should be kept together.
In my practice, a solicitors were banned from doing codicils toseveral reasons none of which were financial because the cost of doing acodicil is no different than the cost of doing a new will.
We had major problems with them and it is extremely easy to makethem defective. Not only that, if, for example, in your case, the beneficiarywho is being excluded happens to find the will before anyone else or isfriendly with the executors, the executor can (illegally) destroy the codicil.
For the above reasons therefore if nothing else I wouldimmediately suggest that you write a completely new will.
You can do it in exactly the same wording as the original one.
A new will or a codicil both needwitnessing by two witnesses (who must not be beneficiaries or the spouses ofbeneficiaries) so apart from the fact that you have to do a bit of typing, itis no big deal. I feel extremely strongly about this and I urge you to write acompletely new document. Remember, it doesn't matter to me what you do.
The will can be written on anything as indeed can the codicil.
It can be on A 4 paper or an envelope or post-it note or cigarettepacket. Indeed, I am reliably informed that will has been admitted to probatewritten on the shell of an egg! It is the form of the will and the wordingwhich is important. It can be handwritten provided it is done in ink andcontains all the correct provisions. Many modern Wills drafted by solicitorsand will writing companies contain a whole load of gobbledygook which is notrelevant to the majority of estates. There is an element of what in the legalprofession we call "snowballing" which is making a word salad out of a documentto make it look impressive so that people think they are getting good value formoney!
Completely off the point but a soldier in battle conditions canactually write a will in pencil and it does not need to be witnessed! I hopethat both you and I never find ourselves in that position.
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