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Codicil Questions

What is a codicil?

A codicil is document that can alter, subtract, add to, or change the things in a will. They can also be used to keep a person’s will up to date with the current information. A codicil can only be created by the original creator of the will and are separate documents. The codicil can change either minor or major details of a will and all codicils must meet the same legal administrative requirements as the original will and must also confirm that the will is valid with the exceptions of the changes that the codicil represents.

What can a person do if the codicil to a person’s will is missing but the beneficiaries have paper work showing the wishes of the person?

If the codicil was not properly executed, then according to the laws, the codicil does not change the effects of the will. The person may be able to try and fight the will by showing that the codicil was the person’s true wishes, but this may turn out to be very costly. The court system does not like to change the will unless the beneficiaries can prove that the will was or has not been executed in the true way that the will holder wanted the will to be done.

Is it illegal for a person, not a lawyer, to write up a codicil for a will if they have two witnesses and a notary and can the codicil amend the trust?

In most cases the person can draft a legal document, such as a codicil, and it not be considered illegal. As long as the person did not represent themselves as a lawyer, then the codicil would be legal. The codicil is used to amend a will and not a trust. The trust would have to be amended with what is called an amendment, which is like a codicil but it is for the trust part.

If a Codicil was never attached to and filed with the will of a deceased owner, can the executor of the deceased's estate proceed to disperse items found in the codicil as if they are a part of the original will?

If the person was to produce the codicil in court, then the probate court would need to decide if the codicil is legal and valid. The probate court would be the one to decide of the will or the codicil is to be followed or who gets what and what beneficiaries get what according to the will and codicil. All wills must pass through probate court and all paperwork that affect the will must also pass through probate court.

If a person wants to have a codicil for their will, in the state of California does the codicil have to be notarized in order to be valid?

In the state of California, the person that is making the codicil must have the codicil signed by two witnesses that have no interest in the will, unless the person made the codicil in their handwriting only. The codicil does not have to be notarized.

When a person makes a will, then decides that there are changes that need to be made, the person would then file a codicil with the will showing the changes that need to be made. Once this is filed the person or the beneficiaries may have questions regarding the legal issues of the codicil. To gain the answers to the questions that the person making the codicil or the beneficiaries of the will may have, they would need to seek the answers from an Expert.

Ask an Estate Lawyer

Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 3170
Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
19305272
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
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3 Estate Lawyers are Online Now

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