Your last will and testament, also known simply as your will, is a document that provides instructions for others about the disposition of your belongings and assets after your death. It is important to have a will in place to protect your loved ones and to ensure that they know your wishes. Wills should be made in writing and have to be witnessed and notarized. Once in place, most people do not think about their will any further. However, this can be a mistake. You should review your will every so often and makes sure that it includes your current wishes.
Making Minor Changes
In general, you can make minor changes to your will with a document called a Codicil. A Codicil is a legal document that makes modifications to specific details of the will. It is best for small changes. For example, if you have new grandchildren who you want to include in your will, you can do so with a codicil. The document is the ideal way to modify your will without having to go through the process of creating a new document. When you add a codicil, make sure that you inform your beneficiaries and keep the document with your original will.
Can I Have Multiple Codicils?
Anytime you want to make minor changes to your will, you can usually do so with a codicil. However, when you make multiple changes over time and have several codicils in place, the result can be confusing. The purpose of your will is to provide clear instructions to carry out your intentions after your death. The more changes you make to an original document, the more possible it is to have misunderstandings.
The goal of any will is to ensure that your beneficiaries understand the intent behind the document. When you add a codicil, you can inadvertently make the will more difficult to understand. Therefore, there could be disagreements about the will and the will might even be challenged in court. To prevent this from occurring, it is best to have the codicil drafted by an experienced will attorney. Your attorney will review the changes you want and may recommend that you replace the will with a new one if the changes are major.
Your will is an essential guide for your loved ones following your death. If you do not have a will in place or you have a will that is confusing, your beneficiaries could be left with problems. Make sure that you have a will in place that identifies how your assets should be distributed and include the names of all the intended beneficiaries. Review your will whenever you have a situation that changes your life, such as the birth or death of a family member. Keep the will in a place where it can be found and do not add or make changes to it without doing so in a legal manner. For more information and to get legal assistance with your will, contact Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. for a consultation.