If my father has a Will and would like to add something to it, can he just print something up and have it notarized?

Also, he would like to have a quit claim deed done. Can this also be done and signed and notarized but not filed in the clerk of courts? Will it still be a legal binding contract at the time of death?

Asked on August 22, 2016 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the change is minor, then your father can execute a "codicil", which is basically an amendment to a Will. However, if he wants a major change or several smaller changes to be made, then he should have a new Will drafted and signed. With either a codicil or a Will, there will need to be 2 adult witnesses who are not listed beneficiaries in the Will. You can go online and find forms for his state; there are many sites that provide these services. Also, he can go to a probate attorney to take care of this. As for the deed, it need not be recorded in order for it to be legal. However, the purpose of recording is to protect the transferee (new owner) from any claims of the transferee's (old owner's) creditors, or any subsequent bone fide purchaser (i.e. anyone who might also be given or buys the land and then records before the transferee), etc.
At this point, your father should consult directly with a local probate/real estate attorney for further advise.


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