can a person update an existing will with small changes without needing a lawyer

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can a person update an existing will with small changes without needing a lawyer

My husband and I have prepared wills. We would like to update in a small way but are not sure if we can
type out changes and have the changes notarized , or does this require a lawyer to complete.
Thanks.

Asked on October 17, 2017 under Estate Planning, Alaska

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You both should execute new Wills. There are forms on-line that are typically very inexpensive to buy and state specific. Minot changes to a will can be done by a "codicil" (i.e. written amendment), however at that point is is just as easy to do new Wills. Just make sure that you doe not make any changes on the original Will itself, otherwise it will be declared invalid since simply crossing out a provision and initialling a change typically can cause a problem. A Will that's partially typed but with a few handwritten provisions can either be declared to be entirely void or the court simply will refuse to honor the handwritten parts.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You both should execute new Wills. There are forms on-line that are typically very inexpensive to buy and state specific. Minot changes to a will can be done by a "codicil" (i.e. written amendment), however at that point is is just as easy to do new Wills. Just make sure that you doe not make any changes on the original Will itself, otherwise it will be declared invalid since simply crossing out a provision and initialling a change typically can cause a problem. A Will that's partially typed but with a few handwritten provisions can either be declared to be entirely void or the court simply will refuse to honor the handwritten parts.


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