How to Write a Codicil to a Will

by Anna Assad

    A codicil allows you to amend a portion of your already written will without filing an entirely new will. Your codicil is a separate document that details what section of your will you are changing and the new provision. A codicil should be put with your existing will upon execution. If you filed your will for safekeeping in your local probate court, you should file the codicil in the court to avoid problems later.

    Step 1

    Review your original will. Write down the exact provision you are changing using the codicil. Note the location of the provision in your will, such as "Article 4" or "Line 3."

    Step 2

    Write your new provision down. Refer to the original provision's location and state in detail what is being changed.

    Step 3

    Type your codicil. Use the same header for your codicil as you used in your original will. Include a sentence that references your original will by the exact date of the document. Insert your new provision. State all other provisions in the will are not being changed or modified and the document is not being revoked in its entirety by the codicil.

    Step 4

    Sign and date your codicil. Your codicil must be dated so the court is aware the document was made after your will. Have your codicil signed by witnesses if you are required to do so under state law.

    Step 5

    Put your codicil with your original will or file the document in probate court. Keep a copy of the codicil for your records.

    Tips & Warnings

    • Consult an attorney if you are unsure about any aspects of your codicil or if you need a new will.
    • Do not use a person who benefits from the codicil as a witness. Doing so may invalidate your codicil.

    About the Author

    Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.