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What Is a Codicil? Definition, Uses and Importance.

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A codicil is a legal document that acts as an addendum to your will. For example, if you want to change some of the provisions in it, then all you have to do is include those changes and additions into this supplemental section without having rewrite your entire original will. It is understood as an amendment or supplement to an existing will.

A codicile allows you to make the following changes to a will:

  • Changing the executor of the will
  • Updating beneficiaries by adding adding new beneficiaries, or removing existing beneficiaries
  • Updating gifts to a beneficiary — you can add or remove gifts, or change the amount
  • Updating your guardian selection, if you have children under 18

A codicil is different than creating a new will

creating a new will allows you to change everything. A codicil preserves the original sentiment of the will but allows you to make minor changes, keeping the original will intact.

Codicil is important if you want to make fast changes to a will

A codicil is an easy amendment and allows you to make changes to a will quickly. In many cases, families like to make changes before they fly together or feel they have left something out of a will. Recreating a will at this point would be dificult, so a codicil serves as a quick way to make updates that you might have previously forgotten about.

How much does a codicil cost?

A codicil is usually completed by an attorney that bills hourly. Changes can be pretty quick but expect to pay around $1,000 for any changes to a will.

What is the difference between a codicil and an addendum?

A Codicil is term used for a document that acts as an addendum to a Last Will and Testament, meaning the codicil form it makes changes to an existing Will (with additions, substitutions, and/or deletions).

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