What is a codicil?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2019 | Estate Planning, Firm News |

If you have heeded the advice of estate planning experts in Hernando County, then you have likely already drafted your will. Yet there is indeed one issue that creating a will early on in your life presents: what happens as your material and/or familial circumstances change? They are almost certainly going to, and the odds are that those changes will influence your decisions regarding how you want your assets dispersed. Does this mean that you need to create an entirely new will? 

You actually do not; a codicil will do the trick. Codicils are viewed differently in different states. Some view them as alternatives or replacements for wills already created. Others (among which Florida is included) simply view them as tools that amend your will. Indeed, Section 732.5105 of Florida’s state statutes says that amending a codicil to a will effectively serves to republish the will (with the modifications introduced by the codicil). 

On top of life changes, relocations might be another reason why you might want to create a codicil. Since the aforementioned law states that appending a codicil to a will republishes it, doing so may serve as an easy (and relatively inexpensive) way to have a will recorded in another states recognized by Florida’s probate court system. If you do this, however, you will want to ensure that it is notarized so that out-of-state witnesses will not later be required in order to validate your will

A codicil is prepared in the same manner as your will. It must be executed properly in order to be considered valid. That requires you signing it in the presence of two competent witnesses who can attest to your fitness and capacity to make such changes.