Central Florida Attorneys Help Keep Your Will Up to Date Through Modifications
The benefits of a codicil to a valid will
What if the last will and testament that you drafted years ago is now outdated and modifications are needed? Florida law does not recognize alterations to wills consisting of crossed-out words and handwritten changes. To properly modify a valid will, it is best to engage the services of a law firm competent in drafting wills and trusts such as Gierach and Gierach, P.A. We can help you properly draft and execute a codicil or revoke the previous will and create a new will.
Writing a codicil merits no less care than your original will
A codicil is like an addendum used to add to, change, delete, revoke or republish a will. A codicil is often used to add a new clause to a will, change beneficiaries or replace the personal representative.
When drafting a codicil, it is important to employ an experienced Florida wills attorney who provides the sensitivity to your personal needs and the required legal experience. To ensure a properly drafted codicil, the following must be included:
- The name and address of the testator
- A clear reference to the existing valid will
- A direct reference to any previous codicils that are being modified or revoked by this one
- Identification of the page, paragraph and line that the codicil is changing
- The signature of the testator
- The signature of two witnesses before whom the codicil was executed
- The signature of a notary on the codicil for self-proving wills
A codicil is an amendment to an already valid will. If the desired changes are truly significant, you might need to revoke the will and write a new one.
Revoking an existing will and writing a new one
Even the most wisely drafted will can become outdated because of unanticipated changes in life. The best option may be to revoke the valid will and write a new one.
According to Florida law, a will may be revoked by the following three methods:
- Revocation by writing — A last will and testament may be revoked by simply drafting a new will, codicil or any other written document that expressly states the intent to revoke the previous will.
- Revocation by physical act — A testator may revoke a will by tearing, canceling, defacing or burning the original will. However, in addition to the physical act, the testator must show that he or she destroyed the will with the intent to revoke it.
- Revocation by operation of law — If a testator divorces his or her spouse after the execution of a will providing for the spouse, the divorce operates to cancel the will for the spouse.
After the original will is effectively revoked, the testator may draft a new will under the guidance of a Florida wills attorney. Any new will must be executed with all of the required formalities.
Contact Florida lawyers with a legacy of wills experience that you can trust
For legal help from experienced Orlando wills attorneys at Gierach and Gierach, P.A., call our Orange County law firm at 407-545-5744 or (844) 431-0813, or contact us online today to schedule your free initial consultation. We also assist people from other states needing legal assistance in Florida.