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  • Jennifer LaVia

HOW DO I CHANGE MY WILL?

Learn about one of the most asked questions when it comes to Wills.



You may need to change your Will if:

  •  You have a new child (by birth or adoption)

  •  You have gotten married or divorced

  •  Your financial situation has gotten a lot better or a lot worse

  •  You have just moved to Florida from another state

  •  You want to change your Personal Representative

One way to change a Will is to sign a “codicil,” which is a document that is attached to the Will

and lists changes that are being made. Doing a codicil made sense back in the days before

computers, when the whole Will would have to be retyped to make changes. But now, with

electronic documents, changing a Will may take just a few minutes. Since a codicil requires two

witnesses and a notary, just like a Will, there’s not really an advantage to using a codicil instead

of just doing a new Will. In fact, having the two documents to look at, instead of one, can make

things more confusing.


Minor changes can be made by using a “separate writing,” that is referred to in the Will. Personal

property (not land or buildings) can be listed in a letter or memorandum that is signed. The

language can be simple, for example: “I give my Johnny Cash records to my son, Alfred and my

Loretta Lynn albums to my daughter Alicia.” The letter can be changed as many times as you

like.


The best way to change a Will is to sign a new will that revokes the old Will and makes the

desired changes.

 

You CANNOT just scratch through part of your Will and initial the change!

 

That attempted change will not be valid. Florida law requires Wills to be signed and witnessed in

a very specific way, so before changing a Will, it may be a good idea to consult a lawyer.

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