When you begin the process of your estate, the first thing you may think of is a will. This document establishes your last wishes and includes which of your loved ones receive which parts of your estate. With the right resources and documentation, your will can make the probate process smoother for your family and friends.
When you need to adjust your will because of life events or a change in preferences, you may not need to draft an entirely new will. Depending on the changes, a codicil may be your best tool.
A codicil on a will
Codicils append new details or amend old details of your will. If you wish to change your executor before your death, a codicil can alter that detail. In the event that your estate expands, a codicil may help you specify new property to distribute to your beneficiaries.
The process of enacting a codicil
Much like a will, a codicil in Georgia works best when you formalize it with notaries and witnesses. However, according to Georgia statutes, you may self-prove a will or codicil with a signed testimony of your able-minded capacity — even without witnesses.
Hurdles to using a codicil
If you create your codicil without witnesses or otherwise do not properly document it, you may open your will up to appeals from beneficiaries or creditors who disagree with your choice. If anything is unclear during the probate process, parties may attempt to contest or have the codicil revoked.
It is important to take the proper steps when documenting changes to your will with a codicil. Doing so helps secure your future, protect your family and preserve your legacy.