Time brings many change’s in a person’s life. People marry, divorce, and remarry. Children are born, grow up, and have families of their own. Relationships change. Personal assets accumulate. The family home becomes an upscale condominium. Regardless of what changes life brings, such changes can have an impact of on the disposition of your estate. To keep your will up-to-date with life’s changes, you need to consider a codicil.
Virginia Codicil: Reflecting life’s changes
Smart estate planning is a complex strategy to distribute your personal belongings in a way that reflects your intent. Common estate planning includes non-probate options such as life insurance and survivorship accounts with a well-drafted will. Estate planners may also create trusts allow the intent of the deceased to control the estate property, but still benefit loved ones and important interests. However, a well-planned estate created 20 years ago can now have holes, leaving out important people or property.
A codicil is an estate planning tool used to update a will. Consider for example, the birth of a grandchild. The child will likely not receive anything under a well-drafted will without an update mentioning the new addition to the family. A codicil is an ideal tool to add the child to the current estate plan if you desire to give something to that child, i.e. money for college or property for future use.
Codicil Effect and Requirements
The effect of a codicil is to republish the will at the date of the codicil’s adoption. The contents of the will that are not amended will still reflect the intent of the testator, the will and codicil’ creator. The amended section will replace a previous grant of some property and insert the new granting provision. For example, a codicil made after the birth of a grandchild could replace a grant of residual estate property going to charity with the residual property now going to the grandchild. The codicil’s formal requirements are the same as a will. The testator must sign the codicil in the presence of at least two witnesses, who must then also sign it.
If life has brought changed circumstances, such as the birth of new family members, acquisition of new property, or a change in a relationship, it is important that these changes are reflected in your will. Contact Elliot Estate Planning today to update your will with a well-drafted codicil.