If you already have a will in place but wish to make changes, it is possible to amend or change the will without having to draft an entirely new document. A codicil is a basically a supplement to an existing will. It states that the underlying will should remain intact except for certain changes.
If the proposed changes are complex or involve removing beneficiaries, a codicil may not be appropriate and a new will should be drafted. A codicil is useful in the following circumstances:
- Updating the name of a beneficiary, personal representative, guardian, and or trustee;
- Changing the person named as the personal representative, guardian, and or trustee;
- Adding a beneficiary; or
- Making other minor changes within the document.
Since a codicil is a supplement to an existing will, it must be executed in the same manner as the will. This means changes should not be scribbled on the will, but rather drafted, signed, dated, and witnessed in the same fashion as the will.