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.


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.

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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Is a Handwritten Change on a Will Legal?


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Can You Change a Will Using Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney document gives the person you choose the power to make financial, medical and legal decisions for you if you become incapacitated, according to the 'Lectric Law Library. However, your power of attorney cannot change your will for you in any U.S. state, since all 50 states require you to have the mental capacity to make, change or revoke your will, according to FindLaw.

How to Change the Executor of a Will

The executor of your will is the person who will carry out the instructions in your will when you die, according to the American Bar Association. This person will be responsible for paying any remaining debts you have and for distributing your property to the beneficiaries you name. If you need to change your executor, you may do so by writing an amendment to your will, known as a codicil, according to the American Bar Association.

Is Amending Your Will Yourself Legal in Iowa?

A will or testament is a legal document that disposes of property upon a person's death and designates a guardian for the decedent's minor children, if any. When a person creates a will in Iowa, he must follow the state's prescribed legal procedures for drafting a will so it is valid and will be implemented upon death. The same legal procedures must also be strictly followed to amend a will.

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