Can I use a codicil to specify a change of beneficiaries?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I use a codicil to specify a change of beneficiaries?

Currently my Will specifies each of my 3 children as beneficiaries. However, from my understanding, if 1 of my children were to predecease me, then my estate would distribute the 1/3 portion to the children of my deceased child to be divided equally. I want to change my Will to give the 1/3 portion to the spouse of my child vs. the children of my child. Would a codicil suffice?

Lastly, if I just wanted to make this change for only 1 of my children, do I need to even address my other 2 children on the codicil to clarify?

Asked on February 27, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, you can make this change by codicil to the will, so long as the codicil meets all the requirements in terms of formalities (e.g. how signed, witnessed, etc.) to be enforceable as a will.
2) No, you don't need to address any beneficiaries where no changes are being made to what they or their descendents would receive.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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