Codicils in Montgomery County

A method to make a simple change in your Last Will and Testament in Montgomery County is a codicil. A codicil allows you to amend your original will to more accurately reflect your wishes. A well-versed wills lawyer can discuss codicils with you and help you determine whether this may be the appropriate option for you.

What is a Codicil?

A codicil is a document that amends and replaces itemized provisions in the original will without revoking the remainder of the provisions. In other words, it revises the original will. It can change one provision or several provisions in a will without the necessity of drafting an entire new will. One example of when a codicil might be executed would be if a person has a will they are comfortable with, but want to make one minor change.

If a person wants to make several revisions to their will, a codicil may not be the preferred document. Instead they may wish to revoke their old will and create a new one. An attorney can help determine whether a codicil is appropriate.

Changing a Will in Montgomery County

Codicils are used to make small changes to wills that can be accomplished easily. For example, codicils are often used to change the way an asset is distributed. If a person states in their original will that they want their daughter to receive all of their estate assets at their death but that the assets are going to be held in trust until the daughter reaches the age of 30, they may decide that their daughter should receive her inheritance outright. A codicil could accomplish that one change easily and leave the rest of the provisions intact.

Standards for a Valid Codicil

There are several requirements a codicil must meet to be valid. The codicil must meet the same execution of a Last Will and Testament to be considered valid.  The codicil must express the Testator’s wishes. In Montgomery County, two independent witnesses over the age of 18 are required to witness the signing of a codicil.

In addition, a person must have testamentary capacity or the appropriate mental capacity when altering a will for a codicil to be valid. In order to have testamentary capacity, a person should:

  • Understand the scope of their assets
  • Be able to identify his or her heirs or close familial relatives
  • Sign the Will freely and voluntarily
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Sufficiently understand the provisions of the codicil, particularly the distribution provisions.

In essence, they have to understand what they own and what they are passing on.

Ask an Attorney in Montgomery County About Codicils

The role of the lawyer in drafting and finalizing the codicil in Montgomery County would be to ensure that the Testator’s wishes are accurately expressed in the codicil, and that all the other provisions in the will that were not amended remain intact. One of the primary concerns and duties of the lawyer preparing a codicil is to make sure that the codicil does not accidentally or inadvertently revoke the prior will. To discuss your situation, call today for a consultation.