When you create your last will and testament, it should clearly state your wishes. While these wishes will reflect your current situation, there is a good chance that in a few years these wishes will change. When this happens, your lawyer might suggest making a codicil to the will, and here are three things you may want to know about codicils and wills.
What is a codicil?
After creating a will, this legal document will be used if you pass away, and it will help your family know what to do with your belongings. Once you make the will, it is legally valid and must be followed. As times change, your wishes and situation may also change, and these are the times when you might consider creating a codicil.
A codicil is simply a change to your will. It does not require making a completely new will; it simply changes, adds, or deletes something from your existing will.
Is a codicil always a good option?
There are times when adding a codicil is good, but there are also times when creating a new will is a better idea. If you need to make one or two minor changes to your will, a codicil is sufficient. Your lawyer will draft the changes and add them to your will, and these changes will supersede anything that is contradictory in the will.
If the changes you would like to make are major, of if adding a codicil at the end of your will would make things too confusing, it may be easier and better to create an entirely new will, instead of adding a basic codicil to it.
Can you add codicils whenever you wish?
The other factor to consider is that adding a codicil once or twice for minor changes is fine, but if you add codicils every year, the will may start to become too confusing. At some point, your attorney may suggest rewriting the entire will, instead of adding minor changes through codicils.
If this takes place, your new last will and testament will replace all previous wills you had written in the past. It will also replace any codicils that were added over the years. It becomes the valid legal document that will be used after you pass away.
If you would like to learn more about wills or making changes to your existing will, contact an estate planning attorney to find out how to get started. To learn more, contact a company like Acton & Snyder, LLP with your questions.