Do you have a will with terms that are outdated or no longer align with your wishes? If so, you always have the option to make changes to your will. People may choose to change or update their will at any time for whatever reason.
If you have a will with terms that you wish to update, there are a few ways you can do so. Depending on the changes you want to make, you have the option to either make a codicil to your existing will or create an entirely new will.
Make a codicil
One way to update your existing will is to make a codicil. A codicil is a separate document that is used to amend an existing will. Codicils may be best for making a few small changes or updating simple things in your will. Some situations where a codicil would suffice include:
- Changing your personal representative
- Adding a bequest for property acquired after the original will was executed
- Removing a bequest for property that was sold
- Providing for children born after the original will was executed
To create a codicil, the testator will write the amendment and include the specific changes or updates they wish to make to their will. The codicil must be executed with the same formalities to create a will. The formalities to create a will are listed in Florida Statutes §732.502.
Create a new will
Another way to change your will is to revoke your existing will and create an entirely new will. It may be advised to create an entirely new will if there are significant changes you would like to make to your will. A new will may also be suitable if you are planning to make multiple changes to your existing will. A few situations where a new will may be necessary are:
- Removing a beneficiary
- Adding multiple beneficiaries
- Removing or adding multiple bequests
If you choose to create a new will, you should make sure you complete the necessary steps to revoke your previous will. If your former will is not properly revoked and any issues arise with your new will, your old will may still be admitted to probate. Steps to revoke your previous will can be found here.
Once your old will is properly revoked, you can then create your new will with the changes and updates you want to include. The new will must be executed with the formalities to create a will.
If you would like assistance with making changes to your existing will or executing a new one, please contact us today.
Written by Alison Koukoulis edited by Patrick D. Quarles