The last will is the core of a well-structured estate plan. In this regard, there are cases in which someone may decide to change part of the will after the document is ready, especially in situations of estate expansion.
When someone needs to either amend or include a few revisions in a will, writing a codicil provides a better solution than rewriting the whole document. As a separate document to amend an original will, a codicil must follow the same execution requirements as a will.
In this article, you will find out how to write a codicil for an existing last will in Florida.
How Do I Write a Codicil for a Will in Florida? – Step-by-Step
Determining the Content to Change
Initially, the first step to amend a will is proceeding with an in-depth review throughout the entire document. When reviewing the content, it is crucial to identify the section that will be amended.
Depending on how the will was originally structured, the content might be divided into articles, line numbers, sections, or another heading(s). Regardless, it is vital to identify the part of the will to be modified and write it in the codicil.
After identifying the part of the will that you will modify, the next step is to write down the information you want to alter.
For instance, if the original will leaves a real property to the testator’s close relative but he/she decides to leave it to another person, it is necessary to mention where the provision is recorded in the original document and indicate the new beneficiary to receive the property.
As it is plain to see, amending a will requires attention to detail and legal knowledge. Hence, make sure to rely on the experience of a well-versed lawyer to assist you throughout the process.
Typing Up the Amendments
Then, it is time to type up the codicil. During the process, the testator must determine the language used as the header of the original will and write in the codicil. Plus, the original will must be identified by date.
When typing up the amendments, it is possible to add new provisions or change the existing ones. In this sense, it is essential to include a sentence outlining that only the specified provisions must be added or altered and that the other provisions must remain as they are.
Other good practices include indicating that the will is not being entirely revoked by the amendment(s) and that the codicil only alters the portions identified as indicated in the document.
Executing the Codicil
After the codicil is entirely typed, the testator must sign and date the document. Under Florida Statutes §732.502 (5), “a codicil shall be executed with the same formalities as a will.” Therefore, the codicil must be signed by the testator at the end of the document.
Plus, the signature and dating of the codicil must be in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses, who must also sign the will in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each other.
Once the codicil is complete, the document must be kept with the original will in a safe place (e.g., a fireproof safe box). Upon the testator’s death, the will and the codicil(s) must be filed with the court to initiate probate proceedings.
Writing a Codicil for a Will in Florida – Immediately Contact an Expert Attorney
There is no better approach to writing a codicil than relying on the guidance of an expert legal advisor. Waste no time – call Attorney Romy B. Jurado today at (305) 921-0976 or email Romy@juradolawfirm.com to schedule a consultation.