Q: I have changed my mind about who I want to serve as my Executor. How complicated is it to make that change in my Will?
A: As long as you are mentally competent, you can revise your Will in any way you wish. We recommend the use of a Codicil when a person wants to make minor changes to an existing Last Will and Testament. A Codicil is a short legal document that serves as a type of addendum to your existing Will. Generally speaking, this is a quick and easy change.
The language contained in your Codicil supersedes the language contained in your original Will, replacing the old language. The Codicil is executed in the same manner as your original Will, in that you sign the document before a notary public and two disinterested witnesses. Your original Codicil and Will should always be stored together in a fire-proof location. In the situation you describe, a Codicil would be the most cost-effective choice to achieve your desired change. If however, you decide to revise multiple provisions within your original Will, you may want to consider simply executing a new Last Will and Testament, as a Codicil under these circumstances would likely cost the same as a new Will and executing a new Last Will and Testament would be clearer and more concise. You will also want to keep in mind that when you have a Will-based estate plan your Last Will and Testament and any Codicils will be filed of public record. Therefore, if you would not want someone to know about a change that you made, you might decide it is more prudent to simply sign a new Last Will and Testament rather than have the changes that you made to your planning filed with the Court.
If you have questions, about any estate planning matter in Kansas, contact Davis & McCann, P.A., Dodge City, Kansas at 620-225-1674. We are members of Wealth Counsel, a national consortium of Estate Planning Attorneys and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). We focus our practice on providing clients with the best legal advice on Estate Planning, Medicaid and Long-term Care Planning, Special Needs Planning, Family Business/Small Business Succession Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Real Estate, 1031 Exchanges, and related matters.
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