Updating Your Will: What To Know

12 May 2023
 Categories: Law, Blog


A person's will should be updated after any major life changes occur. Read on for some information about updating your will and how to accomplish that.

Update Upon Life Changes

It is generally a good idea to review your will periodically, especially after significant life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, the death of a beneficiary, and more. It is also a good idea to review your will at least once every few years to ensure that it still accurately reflects your wishes and circumstances. Even if there have been no significant life events, changes in tax laws or other legal issues may require updates to your will.

How to Update Your Will

Generally, updating a will involves making a codicil, which is a legal document that modifies or adds to an existing will, or creating a new will altogether that supersedes the previous one.

More About Codicils

Codicils are a common and convenient way to update a will. A codicil is a legal document that is used to modify or add to an existing will. It is an amendment to the original will that is made after the will has been executed. A codicil must be signed and witnessed in the same way as a will to be valid. Keep the below consideration in mind when thinking about a codicil:

  • Determine what changes you want to make to your will. This could include adding or removing beneficiaries, changing the distribution of assets, or modifying other provisions in your will.
  • Consult with an estate planning attorney to ensure that your desired changes are legally permissible and that a codicil is the appropriate method for making those changes.
  • Store the codicil with the original will. It is important to keep the codicil with the original will to ensure that it is easily accessible and that your intended changes are carried out after you pass away.

It may be more appropriate to create a new will if the changes are significant or numerous. A new will can be used to completely replace an old will, which may be simpler and more straightforward than using multiple codicils over time.

Making changes to your will on your own without legal guidance can result in errors or omissions that could lead to challenges to the validity of your will after you pass away. Therefore, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced attorney to ensure that your will is updated properly and legally binding.

Visit the website of a local attorney to get started — like https://www.wrightlawidaho.com/.