Changing your old will to stay up to date
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Changing your old will to stay up to date

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2021 | Will |

Writing a will can sometimes be an uncomfortable topic. Many do not want to contemplate their own mortality or the mortality of their loved ones. Yet, we inevitably want our family or friends to be taken cared of after we are gone. We want to make sure we leave something behind so that our loved ones’ lives are comfortable after we have passed.

Of course, life goes on after a will is drafted, and in some cases changes may make the document outdated. In these situations, there are options to ensure current desires are reflected in the document once again.

What is an addendum?

Sometimes, life changes and our plans have to change with it. We have a new grandchild, someone in the family gets married, or we obtain a new asset, we have to be prepared. It may become necessary to add an addendum, an extension, a change to our old will. Another name for it is a codicil. Estate planning such as adding an addendum can be a complicated process.

Rewriting a will

Once a person has identified what changes they wish to make to a will, it is important to also make sure it conforms to South Carolina law. When writing a new addendum it should reference the date your original will was signed and clearly specify what changes are being made.

Also remember to keep your original will after executing your new codicil, the codicil only creates a new addition to the will, it does not replace the original will. It would also be prudent to send a copy of the addendum to a personal representative, a trusted person to enact the terms in your will after passing. It makes sense to use an addendum or codicil when only making only minor changes to your will.

Should I create a new will instead?

For those who wish to make major changes in a will that would counteract much of the old document, then it may be best to create an entirely new will instead. When making a new will, one should make it clear that the original will has been revoked. A person may either destroy the old will or write the word revoked on each page followed by your initials or signature.

For those who have made three or four simple addendums to a will over the years, then it may be best to consider making a new will instead. An estate planning attorney can specifically help people decide which option is better suited to their needs.