Do I Need a Lawyer to Add an Executor to My Will?

By Heather Frances J.D.

Even after you make a will and sign it, you can change it. Over time, you may want to change beneficiaries or executors to reflect changes in your family or friends. You don't need a lawyer to change your will, but you must make sure your changes meet your state's legal requirements.

Even after you make a will and sign it, you can change it. Over time, you may want to change beneficiaries or executors to reflect changes in your family or friends. You don't need a lawyer to change your will, but you must make sure your changes meet your state's legal requirements.

Codicils

To amend a will or its terms, you can create a document called a codicil. Codicils are separate documents that directly address a previous will, changing one or more of its terms. Your codicil can completely revoke your previous nomination for an executor or simply name an alternate to the executor you already have. Since the codicil does not change the other terms of your will, the original terms remain in place. Typically, state laws require that codicils meet all the execution and signature requirements of a will, so your codicil may not be valid if it is not properly signed and witnessed.

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New Wills

You can also make a new will to change or add your executor nominations. You don't have to have a lawyer make a new will for you, though you may wish to get legal advice before drafting a new will. A new will can change many terms at once, and it automatically revokes your old will. Like your original will or a codicil, your new will must meet all of your state's requirements.

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How to Change Your Heirs in Your Will

References

Related articles

How to Make Changes to a Legal Will in Maine

If you live in Maine and you'd like to make changes to your will, you may execute a codicil. Codicils are separate documents that amend a will's provisions; they require all the same formalities as Maine requires of a will. In other words, a codicil requires testamentary capacity, your signature and the signatures of two witnesses. Generally, codicils are only suitable for minor changes. If you're making major changes, you may consider executing a new will. LegalZoom has Maine will forms available if you decide to draft a new will.

Laws Against Will Alteration

The last will and testament a person might execute is not necessarily the final word on how that person's estate will be distributed when the will-maker dies. If you are the will-maker, you are free to change your will or revoke it entirely, as long as you are mentally competent. However, simply altering provisions in your will by marking over them may not accomplish your intent.

How to Change a Beneficiary to an Executor

You can name any competent adult as the executor of your will. People commonly name a family member as the executor. This same person is also often a beneficiary of the will. This is allowed in most states as long as the person's interest in the estate is not in dispute. If you want to rewrite your will to name one of its beneficiaries as the executor, you can do so at any time.

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