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Codicil or new Will?

Most people understand what a Will is. However, not many people know what a Codicil is. 


A Codicil is a testamentary document which would be read in conjunction with a Will. A Codicil must comply with the same legal requirements and be executed in the same way as a Will. Codicils should be kept safe with your Original Will. 


You might want to make slight changes to your Will, but not change the whole document. A Codicil can be drafted to change specific provisions of a Will but leave the rest of the Will the same.  It could be that you wish to simply add, remove or amend certain clauses. If this is the case, then it is possible that it would be more suitable for you to have a Codicil drafted rather than a whole new Will. 


There is no maximum number of Codicils one person can prepare. Having said this, the more Codicils you have, the more possible difficulty there could be with interpreting what the Will and Codicils say. This could potentially lead to Executors interpreting the Will incorrectly and your wishes could unintentionally and mistakenly not be carried out. If it is not clear what your true and actual wishes are, then it would be recommended that you consolidate all changes into a new Will and your previous Will and Codicils would be destroyed. It is much easier for your Executors to deal with one or two documents, as opposed to several.


It is important that you review your Will and any Codicils you have on a regular basis to ensure that the documentation still reflects your wishes. Your Will should be reviewed at least every 5 years and after any major change in your life. See more detail as to when you might want to review your Will here: https://law-society.tumblr.com/post/152331710758/5-times-in-life-you-should-make-a-will-many.  It is at these reviews that you may decide that a Codicil or a new Will is required and we can help you decide the best step to take.   

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