The purpose of a Will is to state your wishes for your property after you pass away. However, these goals may change over time. Perhaps you acquired new property, got married, or had additional children. Each of these scenarios can leave a Will outdated, and without revisions, the probate court may not uphold your true wishes.
If you wish to change your Will, speak with an experienced lawyer at our firm about enacting a codicil. Codicils in Wake Forest function as amendments to otherwise complete Wills. A knowledgeable attorney can provide more information about the purpose of codicils and help you legally amend your Will.
A codicil is a revision to a testamentary document that already exists. These changes serve to make a permanent addition or deletion from a Will. Although it is possible to override an old document by creating a new one, codicils are the only way to change a Will.
In a valid codicil, North Carolina General Statutes § 31-5.1 says that a party may:
To have a legal effect, parties must make these changes in the presence of at least two witnesses and a notary. A skilled lawyer at our Wake Forest office can help you take the necessary steps to place a codicil in an already complete Will.
A Will represents a person’s wishes to be carried out after their death, but those wishes may change over time. For instance, if a person creates a Will at the age of 30, it is unlikely that their desires will be the same over the following decades.
One common reason to pursue a codicil is the acquisition of new property. An old Will might not speak to a family home, a new car, or business interests. If a Will does not address certain items when the testator dies, that property will go through the state’s intestacy inheritance laws, which rarely align with a person’s desires. As such, it is essential to keep an estate’s assets up to date by creating codicils.
Similarly, a growing family could necessitate a codicil. People often use Wills to bequeath property to children, family members, or friends. A person may want to write a new acquaintance in to a Will or disinherit others due to changing life circumstances. A local attorney could listen to an individual’s wants and needs and help draft a well-tailored codicil to accomplish their goals.
A Will serves as a way to memorialize a person’s wishes at a moment in time, and it is important to update those goals as life progresses and changes. Whether you have acquired new property, gotten married, had children, or gone through other major life events, it is always possible to modify a Will through a codicil.
However, there are several requirements for a codicil to be legally valid, so it is best to consult an attorney with experience drafting codicils in Wake Forest. For more information, call our firm today and learn how we can help you.