A will is a binding legal document that is carried out according to its exact terms. If you do not amend a will when it is necessary, you may be stuck with old provisions that are still effective. However, you need to properly amend your will in order for the changes to be applied.
First, you need to have the proper capacity to change your will. You need to be of sound mind and not under the undue influence of another person. Will changes have the potential to lead to challenges.
Second, you need to follow the proper legal process. Since a will is a written document, you cannot make oral changes to it. Instead, you would need to draft a separate written document that is also witnessed by two people. You should keep the two documents together, so they are read as one when the time comes. If you are making a minor change to your will, you should consider a codicil. This document would need to be signed and witnessed the same as the original will would have.
In order to reduce confusion, you may want to consider writing a new will, as opposed to just drafting an amendment. There is always a risk that the second document could become lost, or the two writings cannot be synthesized.
You should consult an estate planning attorney if you have any major life change that could require a change to your will. Otherwise, you may end up leaving your property to unintended people.
Contact a Lincolnshire Estate Planning Attorney
If you think that you need to change your will, you should contact an experienced estate planning attorney today. The law firm of Charles T. Newland & Associates can help. Call us today at 847.797.9300 or contact us online.