What is a Codicil?

Why a codicil may be a better way of updating your Will rather than making a new Will from scratch.

A codicil is a document that modifies a previously executed Will. It is typically used to make small changes to a Will, such as adding or removing a beneficiary or changing the terms of a specific gift.

The advantage of a codicil is that it can be used to make minor changes to a Will, without having to rewrite the entire document. For example, if you want to change the beneficiary of a specific gift or you want to appoint a different Executor, you can use a codicil to do this.

A codicil is executed in the same way as a Will, meaning that it needs to be executed correctly and witnessed by two independent witnesses. It must also be consistent with the original Will.

When considering making changes to your Will, it is important to consult with a solicitor to ensure that these changes are documented correctly. A solicitor will be able to advise you on whether a codicil is appropriate, or if a new Will is required. A solicitor will also ensure that any codicil or new Will is properly executed,  meets all the legal requirements and is valid. If a codicil is appropriate, it is also important to keep this safe with the original Will and store them together. As with any Will or codicil, you should make sure that your loved ones know where they are stored.

It is also important to review and update your Will and any associated codicils as your life circumstances change. For example, if you get married or divorced, or if you have a new addition to your family, you may wish to update your Will to reflect these changes.

What is a Beneficiary of a Will?

In the context of a Will, a Beneficiary is a person who is entitled to receive a benefit (such as a gift of money or assets or the right to use an asset) under the terms of the Will.

What is an Executor of a Will?

An Executor is the person (or people) appointed in the Will to administer the Estate and essentially carry out the wishes as they are set out in the terms of the Will.

In summary, a codicil is a legal document that is used to make small changes to a Will, and it can be an important tool for those who want to make changes to their Will without rewriting the entire document. It is important to consult with a solicitor when considering any changes, so that they can advise you on whether a codicil is appropriate, and if it is – make sure you keep the original Will and any codicils together in a safe place.

If you have an existing Will that you wish to make changes to, whether that Will was made by us or by a different solicitor, then speak to us about the best way to document your wishes. We can advise whether a codicil is an appropriate approach or, as in some cases, whether it would be best to make a new Will that supersedes your old Will.

Call us at any of our four offices to discuss further and to arrange an appointment.

☎️ Call our Wakefield office on 01924 290 029
☎️ Call our Garforth office on 0113 246 4423
☎️ Call our Ossett office on 01924 586 466
☎️ Call our Sherburn in Elmet office on 01977 350 500

About Fran Thomas

Francesca joined Thornton Jones Solicitors in August 2020 and has worked across various departments as part of her training contract. Having qualified as a solicitor in February 2023, she has now joined our Private Client Team.

In 2018, Francesca completed her history degree and then went on to complete the Law Conversion Course and Legal Practice Course and then trained with us. Francesca gained a lot of experience in the Private Client team during her training contract and worked alongside the Team with a variety of cases. She is now looking forward to building on that knowledge and expertise.

The content of this blog post is for information only and does not constitute formal legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited accepts no liability for any such reliance upon this content. Where the post includes links to external websites, Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited accepts no responsibility for the content of such sites. Any link to a third party website should not be construed as endorsement by Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited of any content, products or services which are outside our direct control.

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