If I need to change the executor of my Will, do I need to use an atterney to draft a new one?

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If I need to change the executor of my Will, do I need to use an atterney to draft a new one?

It is over 10 years old but nothing else needs to be changed.

Asked on July 9, 2015 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can update your Will by using what is called a "codicil"; it's like an amendment to an exisiting Will. A codicil can be used when only a simple change is needed; for example, a name change of one of the beneficiaries, additional instructions for your burial or, as in your case, replacing the person named as executor,  

Note:  A codicil requires specific phrasing and must follow the same execution (signing) rules as a Will under applicable state law.  

However, since 10 years have elapsed since you executed your Will, drafting a new Will instead of adding a codicil might be advisable. A substantial change in life circumstances and/or finances would dictate this. You may also wish to consult with a probate attorney to help you write either write your codicil or a new Will so that your wishes regarding the distribution of your estate are respected.


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