People are advised to make sure that they have a will when they die to protect their families. Sometimes, people can be too vigilant and have two wills. They may not have revoked an old will when they made a change. Lawyers tell you to change your will when major life events occur, but people may end up with multiple versions of this legal document.
When someone makes a new will, they will usually include a codicil. The codicil is a supplement to the original will that modifies it or revokes the previous one. If the second will has a codicil, it should be pretty clear which document is valid.
If there are two wills, the general rule is that the court will look to the later in time will, which would be the one that is valid. However, the deceased person may have modified their will under questionable circumstances. For example, the second will could have been made when the deceased person did not have the mental capacity, or it could have been under someone else’s undue influence. In that case, the court would invalidate the second will, and the first one would be valid.
The best way to change a will is with the help and advice of an experienced estate planning attorney. Your lawyer will work with you to make a new will that can withstand a challenge and make it clear which is the latest version of your will. If you try to act on your own, you could create a situation where there is confusion, making things worse for your loved ones.
Contact a Lincolnshire Estate Planning Attorney
If you are establishing or amending an estate plan, the attorneys at Charles T. Newland & Associates can help you. To speak with an attorney, you can message us online or call us today at 847.797.9300.