This document only needs to be used if you need to amend your will in any way. A Codicil is a legal document which amends a will by adding a section or changing a current section, whilst leaving the rest intact. The main benefit of using a Codicil is avoiding having to write a new will which can be costly and is unnecessary for smaller amendments. The other benefit to having a Codicil is that it can be used to keep your will up to date and accurate for when you pass away.
A Codicil can be handwritten or typed but should include the date, state that it is a Codicil and refer to the document and sections it is altering (e.g.the most recent will of John Smith, sections 1, 2 and 3). You can write this document yourself, use online templates or have a solicitor write one on behalf of you.
A Codicil is made legally binding when the signature of the document is witnessed by two valid witnesses.
Valid witnesses have the following characteristics:
Once a Codicil is witnessed in the correct way it is essential that it is stored properly to ensure it is carried out. A Codicil must be stored with the will but not attached to it. Storing the Codicil in this way ensures that it can be used in conjunction with your will and that your will (without the amendments) is not just followed alone.
There are many circumstances in which you may wish to edit your will especially as relationships can shift over the years.
Here are some circumstances in which you may need use a Codicil:
You should only consider writing a Codicil if you wish to amend or add a small section to your will as when used to amend large portions it can be considered to do more harm than good.
When writing a Codicil, you should ensure that you follow the set-out formalities otherwise the codicil will be invalid and consequently cause doubt regarding your wills own validity.
If you decide to execute a Codicil, SharedAffairs can assist you. We offer secure online storage for documents which are released to your chosen contacts once our authentication process is carried out. This means that your Codicil will be stored securely and released to your executor (or to your other chosen contact) so they can ensure it is used in conjunction with your will. SharedAffairs therefore removes the need to worry about physical storage and the safety of your most important documents.
To learn more: Updating your will on Gov.uk
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