Validity of Wills—alterations, interlineations and erasures
Validity of Wills—alterations, interlineations and erasures

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Validity of Wills—alterations, interlineations and erasures
  • Amendments to a Will
  • Alterations before execution of the Will
  • Alterations after execution of the Will
  • Not apparent
  • Obliterations
  • The presumption
  • Rebuttal of the presumption
  • Interlineation
  • Alterations before re-execution of the Will
  • more

Amendments to a Will

A testator, having drawn up a Will, may wish to make amendments to it, either before they execute it, or after. In simple cases, it is better to prepare a codicil to the Will making the amendment in clear terms. In complex cases, it may be necessary to draft a new Will. If the testator does not wish to pursue either of these methods, the only alternative is to make the alteration on the face of the Will itself.

If the alteration is to be made in a Will after execution, it must comply with the provisions of section 21 of the Wills Act 1837 (WA 1837) which provides:

'No obliteration, interlineation or other alteration made in a will after the execution thereof shall be valid or have any effect, except so far as the words or effect of the will before such alteration shall not be apparent, unless such alteration shall be executed in like manner as herein-before is required for the execution of the will; but the will, with such alteration as part thereof, shall be deemed to be duly executed if the signature of the testator and the subscription of the witnesses be made in the margin or some other part of the will opposite or near to such alteration, or at the foot