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Codicils: Change Wills

Knowing When To Change Your Will | Help In Calgary

Making changes to your will may seem daunting. Yet people do not know when they they need to have their will changed. There are times where making changes to your will are required. Other will changes are a matter of personal choice. A wills and estates lawyer can help you decide what you should do.

How Changes Are Made To Wills

Changes are made to wills in once of two ways. Will changes can be by way of a codicil. A will can also be altered by revoking your current will and executing a new one. A codicil, Latin for codex, is a legally recognized document for official updating to these estate documents. The laws on how to properly draft and execute a codicil are very specific. You may want to hire a codicil lawyer to help with creating your codicil to change your will. Failing to update your will properly often leads to an invalid update, or worse, an invalid will. This frequently adds costs to estate administration and frustration for your family. Read on to see if you need to update your estate planning.

When Life Necessitates Changes

Technically, most of the updates our clients want are optional ones. Not required ones. The events that would void or revoke a will may mean that that will is invalid. You may not be able to make a change to a void will. More often, you require a simple update when a person wishes to make a change. The following are examples of when a will change is required:

  • You no longer have beneficiaries: If all your beneficiaries have passed away and no one is left to inherit your estate, then you require a will change.
  • You have assets that are not named (directly or as residue) in your will: If you have any asset that is not gifted in your will then that item will be treated as an intestacy. Depending on the item, you may have to apply for a letter of administration and apply for probate. The letter of administration deals with when someone dies without a will. Updating your current will is a much more affordable option.
  • Death of all executors / personal representatives: Technically you do not need any update in this situation but someone will need to apply to administer your estate if there are no longer any living people named in your will for this role.

When You Should Consider Updating Your Will

Many changes are not required. They are a matter of choice. You may want a codicil to make any updates to your will. If there are many will changes, you may want to draft anew will. The following are times when you should consider changing your will:

  • Death of a beneficiary;
  • Aging or death of an executor or personal representative;
  • Death of a trustee;
  • Birth of a child;
  • Marriage;
  • Birth of a grandchild;
  • Significant shifts in your financial situation; and lastly
  • Divorce

Reviewing Your Will Regularly

It often takes people a long time think about, draft and execute their estate documentation. Once people have a will they often put it away and do not think about it; let alone make regular changes. People should consider reviewing their will for a will change when any of the above changes happen in their lives. They should also routinely review their will every 5-10 years. Updating your estate documents may not be required but it is a good habit. While you can hire a will lawyer to review your will, you can just do this yourself. If you have any questions about a change to your will, call your wills & estates lawyer for help.

Getting Help Making Will Changes

You took the time to plan your estate succession. Once finished, regular review is important. This is something everyone can do on their own. We also offer that help. If you need to update something, we help. The codicil lawyers at Kahane Law Office in Calgary, Alberta are happy to help you to make updates to your will or draft a new one. We help you know when will changes are needed. You can reach us toll-free at 1-877-225-8817, 403-225-8810 locally or email us directly here.