can i cross out and initial a change in my will

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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can i cross out and initial a change in my will

I have a simple online will that I want to take out a provision. Can I cross out the parts I want to change and initial them or what can I do without having to redo and print another one.

Asked on August 24, 2017 under Estate Planning, Georgia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You must follow the letter of the law in your state so that your Will won't later be declared invalid due to the changes you may make. In many states, simply crossing out a provision and initialling the change cause problems. In some, a Will that's partially typed but with a few handwritten provisions can be declared entirely void or the court simply won't honor the handwritten parts. The best way to make a change is to either exeucte a "codicil" (i.e. an amendement to a Will) or redoing the Will itself to reflect the change desired. In fact, since most Will nowadays are forms done on a computer, drafting/executing a new Will might me just as easy as doing a codicil. In either event, make sure that the document is properly witnessed. Finally, if you don't want to pay an attorney to prepate a new Will for you, you can at least have them review the new document that you do just to be sure it complies fully with state law requirements; this a cheaper alternative and you will at least have the benefit of being certain that your estate will pass as you intend.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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