Revising a Will When Someone Dies

Ensure You're Up-To-Date: The Secret to Revise a Will When Someone Dies

Death is a complex subject to talk about, but we must do it. When someone dies, you want to make sure their will is up-to-date so that their estate can be distributed accordingly. Don't let this sensitive topic put you off - we're here to help! In this article, we'll look at how to revise a will when someone dies & what needs updating in the event of a death.

Revising a Will When Someone Dies

Changing Your Will

You can change your will at any time, but it’s essential to do so when someone dies1. You should make sure you have the following:

  • A copy of the original will
  • The person who died (if different)
  • Independent Witnesses and an independent lawyer/solicitor

Once you’ve got those things, it’ll be easier for future generations to know what they’re entitled to. If there are more than two beneficiaries in a will, then each beneficiary needs their witness or solicitor present during this process too! This is because if one beneficiary is present and says all the will content is accurate.

Still, another beneficiary isn’t there to say it’s also true for them; then unnecessary disputes may erupt.

If you don't have a will

If You Don’t Have a Will

You need to file for a Grant of Representation2 when the person who died has not left a will, and you’re their next legal heir. You’ll have to do this with your solicitor or an independent lawyer, as well as providing evidence that the deceased person made no last will.

You see:

This is important because if someone dies without leaving any financial affairs in order, then it can lead to disagreements amongst family members about how they should be distributed – something nobody wants! If you don’t write up some plan beforehand, all assets may go straight through a grant of probate before finally being divided among those entitled under the law.

It would be best to think about what should happen with any assets left in joint ownership. If one of those people dies, then the share that belongs to the deceased person automatically passes on to the surviving owner(s). That means there’s no requirement for a Grant of Representation, and all their belongings will go through the grant of probate before being divided up – potentially causing disputes!

This is important because you may find yourself dealing with legal complexities even if your loved ones are not behaving poorly towards each other. You don’t want them fighting after losing someone close, which could be avoided by making sure they have an up-to-date will.

Making a Will for the First Time

The more complicated your financial situation is, the harder it will be to get it right from scratch. If you’ve been making an effort with your finances but want someone else to take over when something happens, then there’s also a living will.

As soon as you’re married, the laws automatically assume that your spouse/civil partner has rights to all of your belongings and property in most cases unless they are specifically written out on paper (which is what a will does).

When it comes to making wills, there are two ways: formal or informal. A formal will must be signed by at least two witnesses with their signatures notarized, while an informal one can be handwritten and includes only details about who gets which assets such as houses, cars, etc.!


You should know that if someone dies without a valid Will, then everything goes through probate before being divided up. If they do have a will, their assets can go to whoever is mentioned in the document.


If you have a will, then your executor has an easier job of dividing up your assets and notifying beneficiaries about their inheritances. This allows for much more peace of mind in this challenging time because they can make decisions without consulting with anyone else!

A person can also choose who would take care of what if they were incapacitated or unable to fulfill legal responsibilities.

Planning for them to take care of your estate is crucial if you don’t want the person inheriting everything. For instance, a spouse might be unable to make decisions about selling a house or caring for grandchildren while grieving their loss. This means that someone else will have to play temporary caregiver until they can emotionally handle these tasks, creating additional stress and confusion during this difficult time.

On the other hand,

It’s also worth noting that any property left in joint names with another person goes through probate before it is transferred over – regardless of who dies first! That being said, keeping certain assets out of joint ownership ensures there won’t be any delays when one partner passes away without leaving behind a valid Will.

Setting up a Power of Attorney

Power of attorney is a document that gives the person your name in it or “attorney-in-fact,” permission to act on your behalf. A power of attorney can apply only to specific situations, for example, selling property and taking care of minor children – or more general authority over all aspects of your life such as making health care decisions and handling finances.

It’s important to know that giving someone power of attorney does not affect if they pass away before you do! That means that every time you update Power Of Attorney documents with your family members after an event like marriage or death, make sure each one has their copy so there will be no confusion when it comes time for them to take action on your behalf.

In the event of an emergency, a power of attorney may also be used to make some critical decisions for you if there’s no time to get in touch with loved ones and lawyers before making those personal choices that can’t wait. This is why it’s essential not only to have Power Of Attorney documents drawn up now but update them periodically as circumstances change so you can keep a clear plan in place to cover the crucial decisions you’ll want your loved ones to make on your behalf.

Will writing options

Will Writing Options

There are a few options in writing a will.

A simple will states the distribution of assets after death and is not usually contested because it’s so clear-cut. However, this can be limiting when people or organizations want to give more than half your estate.

A will with a trust is often used when the person wants to maintain ownership of their assets and designate someone else as trustee and beneficiary of those assets. Trusts are often more complicated than wills because they require much more paperwork and time from attorneys who draft them up to be legally binding.

An estate plan will often include other documents such as an advanced medical directive that specifies what kind of treatment you would like if you were incapacitated, how your remains should be handled after death, or how you would like your money and property distributed.

A living will is often used to state what kind of medical treatments you do or don’t want if it becomes necessary, such as a mechanical ventilator or an operation.

An insurance trust can be used if there are children from multiple marriages who need to share inheritance for their financial needs when they become adults (or have already) been met; this type of trust allows them each to inherit different proportions of the estate while also ensuring that they have enough funds in case something should happen.

Best of all,

Will writing services can also be used to ensure that the will is accurate, and trusts can provide a way of ensuring there are funds for your children’s needs as they grow up.

Deed of Variation

A deed of variation is a legal document that grants specific assets, or all the property in your estate, to one or more beneficiaries.

The most common use for this type of agreement is when an individual has fully provided financially and emotionally for their children from their first marriage only; however, there are many other reasons why this may be necessary as well. A trustee can also serve as the recipient of a deed of variation should they need financial assistance during their lifetime.

A deed of variation is not the same as a will, though it can be used in conjunction with one to grant assets left by an estate executor or other heirs named in a will.


It should also be noted that this type of agreement does not take effect unless the person executing it had legal capacity at the time they signed it and has died without making another valid will before his death; otherwise, any property granted under its legal terms would end up owned by those beneficiaries stated within a final will executed after the date set for probate (usually 60 days from when he passed).

There may come times when you want to change your existing last will because circumstances have changed since you first created one: someone has died, you have remarried or divorced, a property has been sold, and so on.

You may also need to change your will because of a new marriage that has occurred since the earlier one was made; be aware that this could complicate matters somehow.

Making a deed of variation

Making a Deed of Variation

A deed of variation is used to change the provisions in a will that are no longer appropriate for your new circumstances.

To create one, you must provide an up-to-date copy of the original document and then write out any changes necessary on it; if there are insufficient details about what should be changed or how this may need to include a letter explaining everything in more detail. The main requirement is that the amendments made by this document cannot affect those who would have been entitled under the terms of your previous will had they still existed. As such, these beneficiaries (or their representatives) usually sign off before probate can be granted.

When you apply for probate, the deed of variation will be included with your application – it can also be submitted separately to a court if necessary; in addition, anyone interested in your estate should receive notice about any changes made by this document as well.

Changes You Can’t Make

You cannot change the original beneficiary of your estate or trust. You may not alter who inherits property, land, and money in a will if you have dependents (children under 18 years old).

Your children’s shares must be set out in their separate wills. If there is no such will, then they would inherit everything as determined by law.

In other words, one rule doesn’t apply to all cases; what applies depends on individual circumstances. To ensure that this does not happen, it can be wise for parents with dependent children to make sure both partners create last wills before anything happens, leading to conflict over inheritance rights between them should one partner die unexpectedly.

Common Questions

Can a will be changed after someone passes away?

How often should a will be updated?

What should be updated when making changes to a will?

Can a family member change a will?

In conclusion

We’ve all been there,

The family is often surprised when someone dies, and they are not prepared for the death. This can lead to a lot of confusion on how best to proceed with making a family arrangement or writing up a will. If you’re going through this process for the first time, I hope these tips have been helpful.

Revising a Will When Someone Dies

Editorial Note: This content has been independently collected by the EveryInvestor advisor team and is offered on a non-advised basis. EveryInvestor may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations. Learn more about our editorial guidelines.