Attorney L. Reed Bloodworth is managing partner of Bloodworth Law, with offices in Orlando, Florida, and Winter Haven, Florida. Bloodworth Law handles estate litigation for clients in cities, counties, and courts across Florida.
What is a Codicil?
Let’s answer the question, what is a codicil?
A codicil is a legal document that allows you to make a simple change to your will. It amends but does not revoke, the existing will.
In some cases, a codicil prevents you from having to revoke an existing will and write an entirely new will.
Some Examples of When a Codicil May Be Used
When Would a Codicil Be Used:
• A friend or family member needs to be added or removed as a beneficiary
• You want to provide more or less money to a beneficiary
• You need to give more specific directions in the distribution of your assets
Properly Executing a Florida Codicil
In Florida, the addition of a codicil to a will must be properly executed. The amended will with the new codicil is signed by the testator and must be signed in the presence of two witnesses and in the presence of a licensed notary.
The notary signs the affidavit and stamps it with an official seal noting the event in his or her records book. The amended will is then filed in the proper court by an attorney.
As of July 1, 2020, the new Florida Electronic Documents Act that allows Floridians to create electronic wills and electronic codicils may be used to amend an electronic will.
No matter what you decide to share in a will, do not create a will without the legal advice of an experienced and licensed Florida estate planning attorney.
An Improperly Executed Will is Useless
An improperly executed will is useless to its creator and the wishes of a decedent will not be honored by the courts. The assets will go through probate, and many problems ensue.
Do not add a codicil without the formal advice of an experienced estate planning attorney who will be able to tell you to decide if a codicil is the best way to handle a change to your will.
Attorney L. Reed Bloodworth is managing partner of Bloodworth Law. If you have questions about estate planning give Reed a call to talk about how Bloodworth Law can help you or your family.