Proper estate planning includes reviewing and updating your will periodically. You should revisit and update your will if you experience any life-changing events. This includes getting married, having children or experiencing any other type of life changing event. Similarly, if you get divorced, you should make sure you change your will to delete any references and bequests to your former spouse.
Changing your will involves revoking it and creating a new will or rewriting it by amendment. If you want to amend your will, you will need to create a codicil. Generally, if you have only one or two minor changes, amending it by codicil is a good idea. However, if you have numerous changes or global edits, you may want to consider revoking it and creating a new will. If you create a codicil, your codicil follows your previous will as an appended document. Either way, you will need to comply with the original formalities required by state law in creating your original will.
At the time you create your will, codicil or amended will, you must be at least 18 years old. Many attorneys may prefer creating a new will by revoking your existing will even if you have only a few minor changes. Before the age of technology, drafting a new will meant someone had to retype the entire will or handwrite a new will. Computer software and word processing programs make drafting a new will an easier task. Our office will discuss the best course of action for your individual situation. Deleting provisions in your will by hand is generally not a good idea, and doing so may render your will ineffective.