When it comes to planning for the future, creating a will is a huge step in ensuring that the executor of your will distributes your assets according to your wishes. According to a 2021 Gallup poll, close to half of Americans already have a will in place.
However, life is dynamic, and circumstances may change over time. Life events such as marriage, the birth of children or acquiring new assets may necessitate a review and modification of your will. It is important to keep your will aligned with your current situation to avoid potential complications in the future.
Changes to your will
If you have decided to make changes to your will, the process is straightforward. You have two primary options: creating a new will or adding a codicil.
Creating a new will involves starting fresh and outlining your revised wishes and arrangements. This option is suitable when you want to make substantial changes.
Adding a codicil, on the other hand, is a good option if your changes are minor. This a legal document that amends specific provisions of your existing will without rewriting the entire document. It is a cost-effective option for minor changes. The executor must execute the codicil with the same formalities as your original will.
Considerations before making changes
Before making changes to your will, it is important to consider several factors. First, ensure that your updated will complies with the legal requirements of your jurisdiction to be valid. Be specific when outlining your wishes in the new will or codicil to avoid ambiguity and potential disputes among beneficiaries. Additionally, when making changes, involve witnesses who are not beneficiaries to enhance the legal validity of your updated will.
Changing your will is not only possible but also a necessary step to adapt to life’s twists and turns. Whether creating a new will or adding a codicil, ensuring your wishes are current and clearly stated is a key aspect of responsible estate planning.