Like the tides, life does not stay the same from one moment to the next. Changes may be sudden and immediate, like having children or selling your house, while others may happen gradually over time. Chances are that if you have already written a will, changes in your life may not be reflected in what your final wishes were at the time.
There are two ways to make changes to a will:
- You can write an entirely new will. A properly executed and witnessed will automatically supersede and replace all others before it.
- You can amend provisions of your will while leaving the rest of it intact. This is called a "codicil," and it is not a matter of simply crossing out and replacing items on the page. A codicil must properly be witnessed and executed like a complete will for it to be effective (i.e., signed before two witnesses, and both witnesses signing in turn). Any amendment that is not properly executed will be deemed invalid by a probate court.
A codicil may also be used to "revive" or reinstate a former ("revoked") will.
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