How do you legally update a Will?

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How do you legally update a Will?

I have a family member who had a Will made up 28 years ago. Since that time, this

person has been divorced. They have taken the old Will, marked out what they wanted to change, wrote in the changes, dated it, initialed it and signed it. Do the changes stand or would the old Will be binding?

Asked on February 22, 2017 under Estate Planning, Mississippi

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There are 2 options when updating a Will: you can prepare and sign a new Will that revokes the earlier one, or you can prepare and sign a "codicil" to the earlier Will. A codicil is a separate document that amends (i.e. adds to or replaces one or more provisions in) an existing Will. The best approach will depend on the circumstances of your situation. For minor modificationss, a codicil might be best and for more extensive revisions drafting an new Will might be preferable. One thig is for certain, never try to change a Will by writing in the margins, crossing out words or lines of and exisiting Will. This can cause confusion and lead to conflicts.


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