Having your estate plan reviewed regularly helps you identify any gaps or deficiencies in your will and other documents. It helps ensure that you have time to update your plan and repair its flaws before they cause problems.
You generally have two options when executing will updates. You can start over from scratch or add codicils that amend your will, but which one should you choose? Learn about each method to help you decide.
Are codicils effective?
A codicil is a separate legal document that alters your existing will. It allows you to make changes without recreating the entire document. Codicils are effective and can save you time and money, but there are a few reasons to be cautious. For example:
- Courts may question the legitimacy of a will with layers of modifications.
- Unclear amendments can be confusing or even contradictory to your will’s contents.
- Codicils can open a path to legal challenges if your loved ones feel they go against your true intent.
Using codicils is an easy and affordable way to update a will, but they should contain precise language that does not conflict with your current documents.
Is it better to create a new will?
It really depends on the extent of the changes you wish to make. If you only want to account for a new grandchild or remove a deceased beneficiary, a codicil may be your best option.
However, if you plan to make sweeping changes that affect your beneficiaries, assets or other estate planning documents, a new will might be in order.
Having experienced legal guidance can help you determine the proper course of action and put your changes in place.