HomeVeterans’ NewsLayman’s Guide to Codicils

Layman’s Guide to Codicils

By James Johnson
A codicil is a document that
is executed by a person who
had previously made his or her.
Will, to modify, delete, qualify
or revoke provisions contained
in it. There is no legal limit to the
number of codicils a person can
have in his or her will.
Some examples of when a

codicil can be used are:

• Adding an additional bene-

• Adding a newly acquired
• Removing a property that
was sold
• Removing a beneficiary
• Removing the name of
someone who predeceased you

• Changing the executor
A codicil must be signed in
front of two witnesses who are

not listed as beneficiaries, guard-
ians or executors to your will. In

some states, a self proving affi-
davit, signed by you and at least

two witnesses, under oath, before
a public notary, can be used, as
an attachment,

To expedite the probate pro-

Codicils to a will can be chal-
lenged; the challenging party

can assert that the codicil was
improperly prepared, that the

deceased lacked capacity to ex-
ecute the will on the date it was

signed or that the deceased was
subjected to undue influence, by
another, which resulted in the
decedent signing the codicil!
Lack of capacity refers to mental
incompetency; undue influence
means improper influence over

the decedent; improper execu-
tion means that the codicil may

not be a binding and valid instru-
ment, from a statutory require-
ment perspective.

A successful challenge of a
codicil results in the document
being deleted and the will be
probated without the deleted

This article is strictly for in-
formational purposes. I am not a

lawyer and cannot render legal



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