Codicils for Wills
Wills are unusual as legal documents go. For one, once the will takes effect the testator is not present to explain any problems arising from it. Also, wills often need to be changed or replaced during the lifetime of the testator. While one may opt to write a new will if information in the existing one becomes dated or invalid, a codicil is relatively easy to write and can serve the same function.
What Exactly Is a Codicil?
A codicil is simply an amendment to an existing will. Often people find that situations alter to the point that terms of a will are no longer applicable. For instance, a beneficiary may die or divorce, or grandchildren may be born. A codicil, then, can attach to a will and make such changes without the need for writing a new will altogether.
What Are Formal and Holographic Codicils?
These are the two types of codicils, and they correspond with the type of will that is being amended. A holographic codicil, like a will of the same ilk, is written out in the testator's own handwriting and avoids over-use of legal terms. It becomes effective when the testator and one disinterested party signs it. This second party ultimately must attest to the validity of the will before the probate court.
The formal codicil, like the formal will, is signed by the testator in front of two witnesses, who in turn sign it. A self-approving, notarized affidavit may be attached to both formal codicil and will. This prevents the instrument from having to pass through probate.
Isn't It Easier to Write a New Will?
A wills attorney in Bryan Texas will tell you that in some cases where the will is relatively straightforward and simple it might be easier simply to write a new will than attach a codicil. However, if your estate is at all sizable you may wish to opt for the codicil.
If You Need to Change Your Will
While the term “codicil” may seem arcane and mysterious, in reality it is relatively easy to create. A wills attorney in Bryan Texas can help you make a codicil to change your will. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014 for a consultation.