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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2677
Experience:  Litigation Attorney with education focus on estate planning and tax
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I want to make an addendum, or codicil, to my will. I want

Customer Question

I want to make an addendum, or codicil, to my will. I want to leave everything to my niece without specificitly. How do I do this?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 11 months ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

Generally, there are two ways that a codicil (an amendment to a will) may be valid under Texas law. The first is a formal codicil executed by the testator before two witnesses and signed by the witnesses. A formal codicil may or may not have a self-proving affidavit which is notarized. If it does not have the self-proving affidavit attached, then the witnesses will have to testify before the probate court that they witnessed the execution.

The other type of valid codicil is called "holographic.". That is, the material terms of the codicil are in the handwriting of the testator and it is signed by the testator. Typically, at least one disinterested person will have to testify to the probate court to identify the testator's handwriting.

Basically you would need to say I leave my entire estate to my niece. If you have a spouse then your spouse will have a forced share of your estate and you will not be able to disinherit your spouse. If you have children you need to specifically state that they take nothing in your estate and mention them by name.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
How do I do this? Do I write out my addendum, codicil, with witnesses and have it notarized ? I need it done the simplest way. It is not a complicated will, just want to make sure all I have goes to one recipient. Should I write this out then take it to a notary?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Are you there?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 11 months ago.

I would type it out and have 2 witnesses and have it notarized. That is option #1, the holographic will (option #2) which is all in your handwriting and does not need to be witnesses or notarized (which is the simplest but not the most ironclad).

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Wait, I just paid 56$ and not sure of the answer to my question. Are you telling me that if I handwrite my changes, have it notarized, it will be a legal codicil to my will?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 11 months ago.

You have 2 options 1) type out the codicil and have 2 witnesses and have it notarized 2) write the codicil out with your own handwriting - you will not need witnesses or having it notarized, you will only need someone at your death to verify your handwriting. I would choose option 1 as it is the most ironclad and has less chance to have any problems at probate. You are free to choose either option as they are both legal.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 11 months ago.

Does that make sense? Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 next to my answer, an excellent or good rating would be fantastic. I want you to be satisfied so I will continue to answer any questions you may have and I thank you in advance for completing this extra step as it will not cost you any additional money.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 11 months ago.

I see you reviewed my answer, do you have an further questions?

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 11 months ago.

I see you reviewed my answer, please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 next to my answer, an excellent or good rating would be fantastic. I want you to be satisfied so I will continue to answer any questions you may have and I thank you in advance for completing this extra step as it will not cost you any additional money.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 11 months ago.

Any chance for a positive rating?

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