Creating a will is one of the essential steps to estate planning. Without it, you leave your assets up to state law.
But what if you need to edit your original will? As you get older, your circumstances change, so you will want to account for those changes.
Adjusting for important life changes
You can adjust your will at any point. However, there are a few major life changes that make updating your will imperative. If you have welcomed new additions to the family, divorced, had a beneficiary pass away or recently acquired high-value assets such as businesses or properties, you will need to update your will. Your will should account for all your assets. Over time, you may want to add or remove beneficiaries so that your inheritors do not lose a piece of your estate.
Creating a codicil
A codicil is an add-on that can adjust the terms of your original will. You can choose to add to, revoke or modify parts of your will. The process is similar to signing a will. To make it official, you need to sign the codicil in front of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries. Creating a codicil is best suited for small amendments.
Making a new will
However, if you have major changes you want to make, it may be best to just create a new will. This way, during probate, there is no room for confusion and the process can go by smoothly. Simply revoke your old will in the new one to make it valid.
Taking the time to update or rewrite your will can ensure probate handles your estate exactly how you want them to after you are gone.