A Codicil to a Will is a legal document that is supplemental to your Will which updates one or two clauses in it. Normally if there are substantive changes to be made, it would be advisable to start with a fresh Will. A Codicil can be used for the following:
- Add an additional clause to your Will, e.g. to include a beneficiary who was not around when the Will was drawn up.
- Remove a clause altogether, e.g. you made a gift to someone who has passed away before you and now you would like to remove this gift. Or you do not require guardians as your children are over 18 years old.
- Make a change to an existing clause, e.g. to change the names of the executors.
In the past Wills were generally hand written or typed on typewriters. They were lengthy documents and included all the administrative powers for executors and trustee clauses written out in full rather than being referred to as they are now in the STEP provisions.
As a result, to make a small change of one or two clause, by having a Codicil means not to have to re-write or type the whole document out again. Nowadays, it is not so common to have Codicils as it takes just as much time to print off an amended Will of the computer.
All the formalities of signing a Codicil is the same as that of a Will.
You can have several Codicils to a Will but one of the disadvantages of having Codicils instead of preparing a new Will is that the Will and Codicil(s) become a public document after a Grant of Probate is issued and everyone can see who was removed and who was added to the Will and when. This would not be possible if a new Will was drafted. Also, it is vitally important that it is kept together with the Will at all times failing which, if lost or misplaced, those provisions will not take effect.
Speak to us on any changes you would like to make to your Will on 0203 004 8269