How Do I Amend My Will in California?

amend a will

You already have a will written up, but something in your life has changed. Now you have decided that it is necessary to amend your will because of this change. The good news is that it is not too hard to amend a will. You have multiple ways of doing so, and a Woodland Hills will attorney from our firm can help you figure out the best option.

What Are the Ways to Amend My Will?

There are usually two ways to amend a will. The first way is to file a “codicil” with your will. This is for small changes and should not be longer than a single sheet of paper. This can be interpreted along with your will when you pass away. You just need to be sure that this codicil will not conflict with anything in your existing will.

Another option is to just write a new will. This can be a good option if you need to make major changes and you want to make sure that a codicil doesn’t complicate matters. You will need witnesses and it’s probably a good idea to talk to a lawyer before you get rid of an old will and write a brand new one.

When Should I Amend My Will?

You shouldn’t have to amend your will too frequently, but there are certain life events that can and should trigger a closer look at your estate plan. It may be a good idea to change your will after:

  • A new marriage
  • A divorce
  • The birth of a child
  • You get new stepchildren
  • You have a falling out with a friend or family member who was in your will

It may also be a good idea to update your will if you move to California from a state with different property rules. California is a community property state, but some nearby states like Oregon are not. You may want to check your estate plan and local laws so that you can be sure about how your property will get passed down.

Should I Talk to a Lawyer?

A will needs to be written in a certain way and requires witnesses. If a will does not meet certain requirements, it is not legally enforceable. This is why we recommend having a lawyer help you out when you are writing a will.

When you amend a will, your lawyer can make sure that it’s still legally valid. They can advise you about a codicil and tell you whether or not it complicates your existing will and could cause confusion. If you decide to write a brand new document, your lawyer will ensure that it meets all of California’s legal requirements.

Contact Our Law Firm

If you need to amend your will or take care of any other estate planning needs, contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman. Schedule a consultation with our team and make sure that your last wishes are documented.

Contact Us Today We Can Help

Send A MessageChat With Us818-264-4005

Recent Blog Posts