Making Changes to Your Will
Occasionally, it’s a good idea to take time to assess your current estate plan, so that you can make necessary modifications which will help guarantee that your strategy is kept up to date with any new developments in your financial life.
So, how should one go about making changes to your Will?
The most straightforward answer is that this just plain depends on the specific kinds of changes you’d like to make. If the change is relatively minor, like adding a bequest or to update the last name of a beneficiary who recently married, then you may choose to use a document known as a Codicil.
This Codicil document can change a specific portion of a Will, without having to modify all the original provisions. A Codicil must be signed and witnessed in the same fashion as your original Will, so we do highly recommend that you obtain the help of your estate planning attorney for this kind of task.
Alternatively, if you require very large changes which are likely to effect other provisions of your Will (or a large number of changes in general), like disinheriting one of your beneficiaries for example; it may be prudent to have your estate planning attorney create an entirely new Will for you to sign. This may make it easier for your executor to see your intentions through once you do reach probate and distribute your assets.
Keep in mind that the easier your Will is to read and follow, the less likely a Will contest becomes, this can save you valuable time and money while navigating the probate process. Part of the reason we suggest reaching out to your attorney for this is because no “hard and fast” legal rule exists that explicitly dictates when a Codicil should be used – as opposed to when a new Will should be made. When in doubt, call Moulton Law Offices at 509-328-2150 to setup a consultation.
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