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What is a codicil?

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2022 | Trusts, Wills |

Your wishes may change over the years, which means your will may change as well. There are several ways to update your will including making a whole new will to replace the old one or going through the process of altering your current will.

Another method is to make a codicil, which is helpful when you need to alter key details or add to a will without a complete overhaul.

How does a codicil work?

As Protective defines, a codicil is a legal document used to make minor amendments to your will. You might envision it as a formal post-it note informing others that something is now different.

You must still sign the codicil in front of witnesses just like a will, but it often requires less writing:

  • A statement of your intentions and sound mind
  • A breakdown of the changes
  • A conclusion that insists the information in the codicil supersedes the will

When should you use a codicil?

Milestones in your life are good moments to reflect on whether you need to redraft your will or amend it with a codicil. Changing the executor you named is a good example of a detail that a codicil helps to swap out. It is also useful when updating beneficiaries or making notes regarding new financial circumstances.

Communication is vital when it comes to conveying your wishes. As they change, it is important to speak with your family, your current executors and other resources. This goes a long way to making sure your will and any codicils you create convey your wishes clearly and in a way that holds up in court.

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