Can a Will be changed without a spouse’s consent?

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Can a Will be changed without a spouse’s consent?

My wife and I live in a community property state. We have executed Wills and various other estate planning documents such as living trusts, POA, etc. I’m uncomfortable asking this question of the attorney who drew up the documents due to potential conflict-of-interest issues vs. attorney-client confidentiality. I would like to know, however, whether I can change my “Will” (execute a codicil ) without my wife’s consent. Also, if the answer is “yes”, how might this change the “living trust” that we’ve established?

Asked on October 30, 2010 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You Will is personal to you and yes, you can change your Will at any time without the consent of anyone else.  Here is my concern here: are the Wills in any way intertwined about what is going to happen to your assets and funding the trust, etc.?  Because yes then it may indeed change things.  No one can really answer that portion of the question here unless they read the documents that you have executed.  If you think that it will change the trust then I am sure that it Will.  You should seek consultation from a different attorney and bring the documents with you.  At some point, however, I would suggest that you discuss the issue with your Wife.  This is really not something that you want to keep quiet about.


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