Wills and Estates
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How can a Will be amended?
If you want to amend your will, you will generally need to create a Codicil (i.e. a legal document). The Codicil is a written document that refers to the Will and the parts that are being altered and must be signed, dated, and witnessed by two parties as per the regular rules of making a Will under the Succession Law Reform Act: s. 18.
Codicils that amend previous Codicils should also state that fact (i.e. that a particular Codicil is being revoked). Worth mentioning is that if there are many Codicils, it would probably make sense to re-write the entire Will (for simplicity’s sake).
How can a Will be revoked?
A will can be revoked only by:
- Marriage (unless there is a declaration in the Will that it is made in contemplation of marriage in addition to other rules – see the Ontario Succession Law Reform Act: s. 15(a) and 16.
- Another Will replaces it: s. 15(b).
- A written declaration with an intention to revoke which follows the rules of making a Will: s. 15(c).
- The Will being destroyed (e.g. burned, torn, etc.) by the testator or some person in his or her presence and by his or her direction with the intention of revoking the Will: s. 15(d).
How can a Will be Revived?
A Will that is revoked can be revived only (s. 19 of the Succession Law Reform Act):
- By a Will being made; or
- By a Codicil being made
Which shows an intention to give effect to the Will or the part of the Will that was revoked or
- By the re-execution of a previously revoked Will with the required formalities.
Worth mentioning is that there is a presumption (unless the contrary can be shown) that, when a will is partially revoked and then afterward wholly revoked and then revived, the revival does not extend to the part that was partly revoked (i.e. before the whole revocation).