How to make changes to a Will

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Are you contemplating making changes to an existing Will but aren’t sure how?

There are three ways to change a non-electronic Will. If you have an electronic Will, the only way to make changes is to execute a new Will. For a non-electronic Will, you may choose to make a new Will, you may execute what is called a codicil, or you may make one or several interlineations.

A codicil is an instrument that is meant to be read with a Will and must meet all the same requirements as a Will (including being in writing, signed at its end by the will-maker, and having 2 witnesses), but only refers to the specific provisions that are to be altered by the codicil. If there is a relatively minor change, a codicil may be easier than making a new Will.

Interlineations are physical alterations to the existing Will which are made by adding or striking out words in the Will. These physical changes must also be witnessed and signed off on, and they can make a Will difficult to read and understand. Interlineations are not a recommended method of altering a Will, as the changes may not be found to be valid, and it is usually better to execute a new Will or a codicil. If you wish to make any substantive changes, making a new Will is the best method to ensure your wishes are followed.

You might not even need to make an alteration to your Will. Have you considered a Memorandum? Read our article on Adding a Memorandum to a Will.

Did you mean to ask How to Revoke a Will? Click here to read our article on Revoking a Will.