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How to update an existing will

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2018 | Uncategorized

Unlike many American adults, you took the time to create a will. At the time, you did not have a lot of assets, but your children were small, and you wanted to ensure that they would be taken care of.

Many years later, your life situation has changed. Perhaps you have begun making more money or came into a hefty inheritance. Your children have grown up and married. You will need to update your will to reflect these changes, and you want to ensure you go about updating the correct way. 

Create a codicil

A codicil essentially serves as an amendment to the will you already have. It exists as a secondary document that you will attach to the existing will that lays out what changes you want to make. Since Ohio law requires two witnesses when you sign your initial will, you will also need two witnesses when you create a codicil. While an attorney is not necessary, it can be helpful to have a lawyer help you craft a codicil to ensure everything remains clear and easy to understand. Most legal professionals recommend codicils for minor changes.

Create an entirely new will

If you have a massive change in your family or financial situation, then you will probably be better off creating an entirely new will from scratch. An attorney can revoke your old will so that when the time comes, the courts and family do not mistake which will to use. From there, you should have a lawyer help you craft your new will to better reflect your current living situation. Once your new will is complete, you will want to destroy all old copies of the past will. A brand new will is typically the safest option to reduce the risk of confusion.