A codicil modifies the terms of an existing will. It is actually a separate legal document and only works in conjunction with the original will. Both documents must be given to the probate court. Unless a codicil is extremely clear, the court may have to clear up confusion due to inconsistencies or conflicting legal terms. It’s possible that the court may find any changes, or even the will itself, invalid. Codicils are still allowed, but they are leftover from a time when rewriting a lengthy will was difficult. Now that we can easily draft and print documents with today’s technology, it is much simpler to replace an outdated will with a new one.
Replacing a Will
Creating a new will eliminates any confusion, no matter how big or small the changes are. A single document keeps all of your directives in one place. The most important provision to make in a replacement will is the complete revocation of any prior wills. Additionally, destroy all copies (including the original) of the prior will.
When you need to update your will, or if you aren’t sure your will and codicils are clear and current, please contact our office.