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Should You Write a New Will If You Need to Update It in New York?

update will new york ny

You have given careful consideration to what will happen to your estate in the event of your death or disability. As such, you have already written your will. However, you have considered matters further and/or life has thrown you a curveball, forcing you to make an update to your New York will. But will you have to write a whole new will? That will depend on a host of factors, including the extent of the changes. If you have only a handful of minor changes, you might make a codicil to your will. If you would like more information on this and other estate planning processes, please read on, then contact an experienced Rockland County will attorney today.

Will a codicil be enough to update my New York will?

As alluded to above, you might consider a codicil as a functional alternative to writing a brand new will if you plan to only make a few small changes. This is because a codicil is, in essence, a legal postscript to your will. If you believe that codicil will not unduly burden and/or confuse your executor(s) and/or survivors, you may create one by:

  • Writing down what you want to remove or add to your existing will
  • Signing the codicil
  • Having two witnesses sign the codicil
  • Keeping the codicil with your will

Your executor(s) will read and interpret your will and your codicil together after you have died or become disabled. Those wishing to write a codicil may retain the services of a lawyer, or they may make the codicil themselves.

In spite of the relative ease of making a codicil, you will probably find that, in most circumstances, it makes more sense to simply write a new will. You will reduce the possibility of any confusion that could come from having an add-on to your old will by revoking it and making a new one. Your executor(s) and survivors will have no extra sheets to lose or misconstrue with a new will.

Should you hire a Rockland County wills, trusts and estates attorney?

Even though you can probably use will-writing software or online programs to write a new will, you would be well-advised to retain the services of a skilled Rockland County wills, trusts and estates attorney who will provide you with guidance and discuss your options. This may be especially helpful if you have a disabled child, children from a previous marriage, are transitioning business ownership in a family business or any other complex estate planning issue. A seasoned estate planning attorney can assist with the following matters:

  • Organizing the smooth transition of assets after your death or disability
  • Minimizing the impact of taxes on your estate
  • Reducing family conflict
  • Preventing family disputes
  • Minimizing time in probate court
  • Minimizing the value of assets in probate court
  • Distributing your assets and property to your children, spouse, loved ones and charities, according to your instructions

No matter where you are in this process, our firm can help.

Contact our Firm

If you require an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.

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