Codicil to a Will
A Codicil is a supplement to a Last Will and Testament altering its provisions by additions or subtractions, or confirming its provisions wholly or partially. A codicil cannot revoke the entire Will. It is a part of the will, and the documents should be read as one entire instrument.
When to do a Codicil to a Will?
A Codicil is used to make some change in the original will (or in a prior codicil or codicils). Common changes may include:
- Deleting or adding beneficiaries
- Increasing or decreasing a pecuniary (dollar) bequest;
- Making or revoking a bequest;
- Adding and/or deleting fiduciaries; and
- Exercising a power of appointment, especially where the validity of exercise requires specific testamentary reference to the power of appointment.
Why do a Codicil rather than a Will?
Among the reasons for resorting to a codicil, instead of a new will are:
- The need for haste, that is, there is not sufficient time to prepare a completely new instrument; and
- The assumption that the change is so small that it doesn’t make sense to rewrite a complete will.
How do you Execute a Codicil to a Will?
A codicil must be executed in the same way as a Will and in accordance with the statutory formalities prescribed by EPTL 3-2.1. Click here for an instruction guide of how to properly execute your Codicil. A codicil attested to by only one witness fails to meet the requirements of EPTL 3-2.1(a)(4), will not be admitted to probate
Where do you Store it?
You store a codicil in the same place you store your Will. Do not leave it in the safe deposit box as this will then necessitate a search of your safe deposit box. Instead, either leave it with the attorney draftsman or in a fireproof safe in your home.
For more information, please contact Estate Litigation, Guardianship, Probate and Estate Planning attorney Regina Kiperman:
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