How to Add a Page to My Last Will & Testament

By Valerie Stevens

As you age, your priorities or circumstances often change and you decide to revise some provisions of your will. One way to add a page to your will would be to revoke the current will and write a completely new will. However, this can be inconvenient and costly, -- and it might not be necessary. You can often include additional property or beneficiaries in your will by adding an amendment called a codicil. Another option is to add a personal property memorandum, which is used to dispose of tangible personal property that is not specifically disposed of in the will.

Codicil

Step 1

Draft an amendment using the same formal language used in your original will. Label the amendment as a codicil and give it a number in case you have more than one, such as “First Codicil to Last Will & Testament of Mary Ellen Jones.”

Step 2

Include the property or beneficiary you are adding. If you are changing a provision of your will, refer to the article, item or paragraph where the old information is listed in the will and state that you are revoking that provision.

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Step 3

Sign and date the codicil with the same formality used to sign the original will, according to state laws. Some states require two witnesses and a notary; some require more formal language called a probate. Your witnesses should not be relatives or beneficiaries.

Step 4

Keep the codicil with your will at all times. If the will is registered in your state, register the codicil with it.

Memorandum

Step 1

Draft a tangible personal property memorandum to list items and your intended recipients. Many people use this device to designate bequests when drafting a will. A memorandum should be referenced in your will to be valid, but most executors will try to follow your wishes if you add one later.

Step 2

List items and beneficiaries on your personal property memorandum. For example, you might state, "I give my sailboat to my nephew Ed Jones," and "I give my French provincial silver service to my daughter Sally Smith." Describe the items with enough detail that the executor of your will can understand your intent.

Step 3

Sign and date the memorandum at the bottom of the page. Most will memorandums are not witnessed because they are created so that you can easily change bequests.

Step 4

Strike through an item and label it “revoked,” then add another item or beneficiary to change the memorandum. Initial and date the revocations and additions.

Step 5

Keep the memorandum with your original will or with a copy of your will if your state registers wills prior to death.

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How to Add an Addendum to a Will

References

Related articles

How to Write an Amendment to a Will

Once a will is written, signed, and witnessed, it is legal in most states as long as it meets state law requirements. To change a completed will, you must either add an amendment, known as a codicil, or destroy the will and create a new one. You cannot alter your will by simply crossing something out or adding something new. Writing an amendment to a will is a simple process that is legal as long as it is signed, dated and witnessed like the original will.

How to Prepare an Amendment to a Revocable Trust

You create a living trust to transfer assets to the control of a trustee, who has the legal authority to manage the assets and distribute them to your named beneficiaries according to your instructions. A revocable trust is one that you may legally amend at any time with the use of a simple amendment.

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You don't need to start from scratch to make changes to your will. You can modify your will by simply attaching new directions to it. You can also attach a list identifying your personal belongings and to whom you are leaving them. Each state has its owns laws regarding estate planning, and an attorney can answer specific questions about attachments to your will.

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