Can I change a will after I have signed it? - Raleigh Estate Planning - NC Legacy Planning

Can I change a will after I have signed it?

The short answer is yes. It is absolutely possible to change a will after it has been drawn up and in fact, you should schedule regular maintenance reviews to ensure your will is always up to date.

After all, you’ll experience a variety of changes throughout your life. Changes in beneficiaries, income, assets and the like, and for a Will to be effective, it should always reflect your current needs and concerns.

But – and this is important – wills can’t be altered by simply writing corrections in them. To change a will legally, one of two things needs to happen: either a new will is executed to replace the old, or the existing will is modified with a legal document called a codicil.

The codicil is essentially a legal amendment, giving you a way for you to alter part of your will, rather than having to change the entire thing and yes, you can create as many codicils as you want. Generally, the codicil will be subject to the same type of signing requirements as a will to be considered valid. Most attorneys prefer to redraft your will, rather than add a codicil, because codicils can get confusing and the last thing you want is for anyone to be unclear about how you want your property distributed after your death.

And one final piece of advice: If you’re thinking about altering or updating your will, you’ll need the help of a good estate planning attorney to make sure your changes are legally binding, so give us a call. We can help!