A will is vital for ensuring that your loved ones receive the property or assets you want them to have after you are gone and often ensures security for those beneficiaries. It is a vital aspect of estate planning.
If you are considering making changes to your will, it is imperative to understand your options and follow the protocol as precisely as possible to make sure that the court considers your amendments valid.
When to make a codicil
If you only wish to make a few changes to your will, a codicil is probably the most appropriate option. For example, this may be the right option if you want to change the executor of the will. The steps required for this process include the signatures of two witnesses, in addition to your signature.
For this option, make a list of the assets you need removed or added to your will, add the current date and ensure that all necessary parties sign it. You will then have this new amended document placed with your will, and they are both read after your death.
When to create a new will
If there are significant changes that you plan to make to your original will, it may make the most sense to create a new will. Like a codicil, you need to have the signature of two witnesses for your new will. In some states, you also need a notary; however, Florida does not require will notarization.
When to revoke your old will
If you decide to create a new will, you need to revoke the old will. You should state in the new will that you are revoking any previous versions of the document. If you have a paper copy, you may also want to destroy it, as this decreases the possibility of later confusion regarding the will.
If you have any concerns about the process for making changes to your will, it may be helpful to gain feedback from legal counsel to make sure the outcome is exactly as you need.