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How Do I Change My Will?


Unfortunately, when it comes to changing a will, it’s not as easy as striking through a line and initialing next to it. In fact, doing so may invalidate the entire document. However, it is possible–and usually necessary–to change your will multiple times after it’s created. Generally, it’s recommended that you review and revise your will at least every three to five years, or whenever a major life change occurs for you or one of your beneficiaries. For instance, if one of your beneficiaries gets married and changes their name or you have a grandchild, these are changes that would need to be reflected in your will. Small changes are no reason to start from scratch, and luckily there are ways to make such amendments. In this post we’ll look at the easiest way to revise your will to keep it current and up-to-date. If you would like to talk one-on-one with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that your will is valid, comprehensive, and up to date, you are welcome to schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray.

Making Changes to a Will in Florida

Changes in the marital status of you or your beneficiaries, births, deaths, adoptions, long trips, illness, and material changes to assets are all good reasons to update your will. However, you do not necessarily need a major life change to prompt adjustments. If your will would not accurately and effectively convey your wishes at this moment in time, then it is not up to date, and that is enough of a reason to change it. The easiest way to make such changes is by having your attorney execute what is known as a codicil. A codicil is a good option if there are only a handful of small changes or adjustments that need to be made. A codicil is a separate legal document which expresses the changes. It is then signed and executed by two witnesses and attached to the original will. The two documents will then be interpreted together in probate court. On the other hand, if your will requires more of an overhaul with significant changes and re-writes, the best option is to make a new will. In many cases, it actually makes sense to create a new will, particularly if you have a large or complex estate, your original will was not professionally prepared, or it was prepared a long time ago and now requires a number of updates. If you have already executed multiple codicils, it is also a good idea to execute a new will to reduce any possible confusion that could stem from trying to interpret all of the documents together. In situations like this, it may actually be more cost effective to create a new will. An attorney can assess your situation and determine what the best option is for you and your current needs.

Schedule a Consultation with Larry E. Bray

If you require assistance creating an estate plan or updating an existing one, the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray are ready to help. Contact West Palm Beach estate planning lawyer Larry E. Bray today to schedule a consultation and find out how he can help ensure that all of your estate planning needs are met.

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