Codicils in Palm City

A codicil is an amendment to a will and for that reason, may be considered a partial revocation of a will. Codicils may be executed shortly after the will is signed or many years later.

Because codicils in Palm City change one or more provisions in a will, they can cause a will to be contested by an interested party unhappy with the change. Many well-versed trust and estate lawyers may also consider creating a new will rather than adding a codicil to an older will.

Requirements for Creating a Codicil

Fla. Stat. §732.502 requires codicils in Palm City to be executed with the same legal requirements as a full will. This statute also lists the formalities for creating a valid will. These requirements include:

  • The document must be in writing
  • The signature of the person creating the will or codicil must appear at the end
  • If the person creating the will cannot physically sign the will or codicil, they must direct another person to write their name in their presence
  • At least two witnesses must affix their signatures acknowledging that they have seen the person who created the will or codicil sign it, or that the person acknowledged signing it previously, or that the person acknowledged that another person has signed on their behalf
  • The witnesses must sign in the presence of the person creating the will or codicil as well as each other

If the formalities regarding signatures and witnesses are followed, the law does not require special wording for a will or codicil to be valid.

When Changes to A Will May Be Used

A codicil originally referred to any short writing. Typically, codicils have been used to make simple changes to a will rather than whole revisions of major provisions.

However, just because a change is simple does not mean it is minor. For instance, codicils in Palm City are frequently used to change personal representatives or beneficiaries. This has a tremendous impact on the administration of an estate. If a will originally specifies that the oldest son will serve as personal representative of the estate, and then a codicil is found which names a paid caregiver as personal representative instead, suspicions of fraud may be raised. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a codicil to be challenged in court.

Alternatives to Codicils in Palm City

If an individual wishes to make substantial changes to a will, attorneys often advise creating a new will rather than creating codicils in Palm City. The creation of a new will generally revokes previous wills and codicils.

While a new will may be contested just as a codicil could be, it often gives a greater appearance of propriety and leaves less room for uncertainty. An attorney in Martin County can help determine whether it would be better to create a new will or a codicil.

More Information About Codicils in Palm City

A Palm City codicil may be revoked in the same way as a will. The person creating the codicil may physically revoke the document by destroying it, such as by burning it or tearing it up. Alternatively, a codicil may be revoked by the execution of a new will with inconsistent terms or a new will that expressly declares the revocation of the codicil. To discuss your options, call today.

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