How cana Will be updated?

UPDATED: Nov 16, 2011

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How cana Will be updated?

Can pencil, date and initial changes be made to a Will after one of the beneficiaries has passed or should a new one be created?

Asked on November 16, 2011 under Estate Planning, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A will may be changed, but it has to be changed by following the same rules for signing, executing, and witnessing it as were followed in creating it in the first place. The two ways to change it are not to mark it up or edit it, but--

1) the best and cleanest way is to replace it with a new will, superceding the old; or

2) by drafting a codicil (an amendment) to the will making the appropriate changes.

Again, either the new will or the codicil must be executed and witnessed properly. Since a failure  to do so will make the changes (or new will) invalid and unenforceable, you should have an attorney help you.

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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