How best to add a change or addendum to a Will?

My mother recently discovered that my sister, who had access to mom’s checking account, has been using that account to pay her bills. Mom had never checked her statement. I discovered the problem. Can mom compose a statement that itemizes and totals all the items and state that amount is to be deducted from my sister’s share of the estate, have it notarized, and kept with the original Will? She had just had her will rewritten before this problem was discovered and didn’t want to have to pay to have a new one done. Would thisbe legal?

Asked on November 6, 2011 under Estate Planning, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your mother wishes to have an addendum to her Will that was just drafted by a lawyer and does not wish to pay for a re-write to include offsets debited from what your sister has improperly taken from her checking account, she can do a holographic addendum making edits to her original Will.

A holographic addendum to a Will is written in the hand of the person who is making the addendum and is dated. The addendum should reference the prior Will and make the necessary changes as desired. I recommend that your mother simply have the attorney who drafted the original Will draft another one to avoid possible mistakes in the process that could occur if your mother does the addendum herself.

Good luck.

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