Our Codicils Lawyers in Dover, DE Can Update Your Will and Keep Estate Plans Current
While no one particularly likes to think about estate planning, it’s merely a necessary aspect of everyone’s life. Having a proper will in place to dictate what happens to your money, property, and other assets is absolutely essential. Of course, many people have a lot of life left to live after drafting their will. This means there’s always a chance that circumstances could change. If you find yourself in such a position, a codicil lawyer in Dover, DE may be able to help.
At Schwartz & Schwartz, Attorneys at Law, our Delaware estate administration lawyers have years of experience helping clients plan for and execute estates. If you or a loved one needs to make changes to a pre-existing estate plan, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need a new will. With the help of a Dover, DE codicil attorney, it’s often possible to make all necessary updates without going through the tedious tasks involved in creating a will from scratch.
What Is a Codicil and Why Might You Need It?
You may occasionally hear “codicil” and “will” used interchangeably, but they are two separate legal concepts and documents. While a will lays out your final wishes, a codicil serves to amend the information contained within the will. This removes the need for revocation and the creation of an entirely new will. However, keep in mind that this document must meet all the formal requirements of a will under Delaware law.
There are many reasons a person may need to alter their will. Regardless of your situation, you may benefit from speaking to a codicil lawyer in Dover, DE. They can help ensure all appropriate documentation is created and that alterations stay within the confines of the law. The following are common reasons people contact our law office for codicil services:
- Remove bequests you no longer own
- Add a new beneficiary to an estate plan
- Removing heirs or executors who have died
- Adding or correcting information
- Disinheriting heirs
- Increasing inheritance to account for inflation
- Changing executors after relocation
- Adding new heirs due to marriage or births
While all of these changes and many more are allowed with a codicil, there are situations where creating an entirely new will may be preferable. For instance, perhaps your original will was centered around a single individual to receive the bulk of your properties and execute your entire estate. If something happens and you no longer wish for this to occur, it may be ideal to create a new will in order to avoid any confusion.
Whether this is necessary will depend on your unique circumstances. However, our codicil lawyers in Dover, DE can help in any case. Contact us today to learn more.
Can You Just Make Hand-Written Changes to Your Will?
When someone decides they need to make changes to their will, they often wonder why they can’t just do it themselves. After all, they made all the initial choices in the document. Shouldn’t they be able to make any necessary changes by simply handwriting them in and adding their initials to the side? Unfortunately, this can lead to major problems. For instance, a lack of witnesses or a notary to the change can render any alterations ineffective.
Other people feel they can make necessary changes by simply downloading a form online. While this is certainly one option, it can also lead to difficulties. There are considerable risks to using do-it-yourself legal websites, but the riskiest prospect is that you’re not actually receiving legal advice. Pre-canned documents cannot account for all your unique circumstances. A Dover, DE codicil lawyer can update your will quickly and easily, so there’s no need to take unnecessary risks.
How Important is a Codicil for Delaware Wills?
The importance of a codicil is very apparent when major changes occur in your life. For instance, the death of an heir could leave their whole inheritance for the courts to decide. This could entirely defeat the purpose of creating a will in the first place. The fact is that no changes will be considered set in stone without either a new will or a codicil. In a worst-case scenario, failure to use such a document could result in litigation between family members.
When someone passes on, a will specifies exactly where they want their assets to go. While upset relatives and others can contest the document, they’re unlikely to succeed if there are no underlying legal issues. Without a legitimate Delaware codicil that meets the same requirements of a will, however, your estate could be left wide open for contestation. With a probate court system that’s already overburdened, this isn’t good for anyone.
Contact a Codicils Lawyer in Dover, DE Today
Estate planning is one of the most important things you’ll do in your life. It will literally dictate what happens to everything you’ve worked for when you’re gone. Since no one’s life is static and changes can happen at any time, however, it’s important to allow for some flexibility. Fortunately, you can accomplish this with codicils. No matter what changes occur in your life, a Delaware wills, trust, and estate lawyer can make any alterations you might need.
At Schwartz & Schwartz, Attorneys at Law, we know how important it is to have an up-to-date estate plan. This is why we’re on hand to offer advice and document any modifications you may deem necessary. Don’t risk leaving the administration of your property and assets to the courts by taking a do-it-yourself approach to changing your will. Our codicil lawyers in Dover, DE can ensure everything is legal and fully above board. Contact us today by calling 302-678-8700 to schedule a consultation with one of our legal professionals.