How wills can be changed

Many Florida residents take great care to engage in estate planning in an effort to provide for their family members. When developing a will, they can choose from a joint will, a living will, an oral will and more. Additionally, as noted by the website, as life changes, the need to change a will may logically arise as well.

Some people may find it desirable to review their wills on an annual basis. This can be a valuable way of protecting assets through the various seasons of life. If during this review, a person does wish to make changes to an existing will, it is important that these changes be made appropriately. The Florida Bar notes that simply crossing out portions of a will and handwriting in new wishes in the margins, for example, could be problematic. In fact, it could even nullify portions if not all of the will.

If proposed changes to a will are significant enough, it may be best to revoke the will altogether and create an entirely new one. People who do this can either choose to destroy the first will or to keep it with the second one with clear instructions that it has been replaced by the new will. There is no right or wrong as to which approach is better although some experts favor keeping old wills for evidence if needed in the future.

For less sweeping changes, a will can be amended through a codicil. This is a formal document that should be kept with the will. It stipulates the new provisions and notes the date that they are to take effect. A will can be changed an unlimited number of times but the mental capacity of the individual to make such changes should always be able to be proven.

FindLaw Network