If my mom has a Will but she cannot afford to have it redone and she wants to exclude her daughter who just passed away so nothing goes to her husband, what can she do?

The daughter recently died.

Asked on October 11, 2017 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your mother should just execute a new Will. There are forms on-line for all states that are typically very inexpensive to buy. The change that she wants to make is material and should not be done by "codicil" (i.e. amendment). And make sure that she does not make any changes on the original Will itself. A testator (i.e. the maker of a Will) must follow the letter of the law in their state so that the Will won't later be declared invalid due to the changes made. In many jurisdictions, simply crossing out a provision and initialling the change causes problems. A Will that's partially typed but with a few handwritten provisions can be declared entirely void or the court simply won't honor the handwritten parts.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your mother should just execute a new Will. There are forms on-line for all states that are typically very inexpensive to buy. The change that she wants to make is material and should not be done by "codicil" (i.e. amendment). And make sure that she does not make any changes on the original Will itself. A testator (i.e. the maker of a Will) must follow the letter of the law in their state so that the Will won't later be declared invalid due to the changes made. In many jurisdictions, simply crossing out a provision and initialling the change causes problems. A Will that's partially typed but with a few handwritten provisions can be declared entirely void or the court simply won't honor the handwritten parts.


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