How Do I Make Changes to My Will?

older couple with their middle aged son looking at paperwork

When major life changes happen, it’s important to update your will accordingly.

Reasons to Amend Your Will

You will want to adjust your will after:

  • Getting married
  • Having a child
  • Your assets increase or decrease
  • You purchase a home
  • You move out-of-state
  • You get divorced
  • You are approaching retirement

When it comes time to make official changes, you have a couple of options available.

Add a Codicil

A codicil is a legally binding addition to your will. You can detail exactly what you want to add or remove from your will in a codicil. This could be naming new beneficiaries, reassigning the executor role, or changing guardianship.

To make a codicil official, you must sign it, as well as have two other witnesses sign it. It’s important to note that the two witnesses must be individuals who are not named in your will.

Sometimes, adding a codicil can lead to confusion. It’s best to draft your codicil will the help of an attorney to ensure that it is a clear and official change.

Draft a New Will

If you need to make a number of changes to your will, it may be easier to start from scratch. Just like with a codicil, you will need witness signatures to validate the will.

If your will is not properly validated and made legal, it can be disregarded after your passing. Specifically, your assets will fall into intestacy. This means that your assets will be distributed according to Texas laws rather than how you delineated them in your will. You should work with a wills and trusts attorney to ensure this doesn't happen.

Dallas Wills and Estate Planning Attorneys

It’s important to consider the future, even after you are gone. You want to guarantee that your loved ones are taken care of and given guidance in their time of grief. One way to ensure this happens is by keeping an up-to-date and legally binding will. To draft a new will or make changes to a pre-existing will, contact DebnamRust, P.C.. Our attorneys can ensure that your document is official and will be recognized as legal by the court.