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What are codicils and how do they work?

24 May 2019 Category: News

A Will narrates what should happen with everything you own (referred to as your estate) when you pass away.  As circumstances change throughout life, we always recommend the terms of your Will be reviewed regularly.  Once you have a Will it is possible to amend the terms of your Will without redoing the whole document.  This can be done in the form of a codicil.

A Codicil is a testamentary writing which is read alongside the original Will.  It is possible to have more than one codicil alongside your Will.   However, having many codicils can cause confusion, so it may be sensible to redo your Will if there are many changes to be made.

A Codicil needs to be signed, dated and witnessed just like your original Will.  The witness to your signature on the Will does not need to be the same witness to your signature on the Codicil.  An executor or beneficiary named in a Will cannot witness your signature otherwise the legacy or appointment of the executor will be invalid.  There are no rules stating what can and cannot be included in a Codicil but generally they include things like extra legacies or a change of executor.  

A Codicil is a great add on tool to a Will and can be a cheaper alternative to redoing your whole Will.  However, we would always recommend a Codicil be used for small amendments only.

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North Berwick - 01620 892138
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