Can I Write on My Will to Update it in California?



Life circumstances change, and you may need to update your will to reflect that, too. Knowing what procedure to follow can ensure that your wishes are followed properly when you pass away. On the other side of that coin, mistakes made when trying to update your will may mean that the court uses the prior version as the valid will.

California wills can be amended, updated, or modified at any time during the life of the person who created them. It is often the case that you may need to decide between amending the will or writing an entirely new one. A codicil is one way to draft and update an existing will, but you may also work directly with your Pasadena estate planning attorney to revoke the previous will and execute a new one. Note that in situations where you’re substantially changing aspects of the will, it is better to revoke the will.

That said, it is important that you file the most current copy so that there is no confusion at the time you pass away. A codicil has to be executed with the same requirements for a valid will and you cannot update your will by making notes, adding handwritten corrections or crossing out words. This can make things much more confusing for your loved ones and land your case in court.

With a simple change, use a codicil to update your previous material. You may choose to change your will with issues like birth and death of appointed parties and beneficiaries, marriage or divorce. Your will is just one part of your comprehensive California estate plan. Speak to an experienced estate attorney today to discuss your next steps.

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