Changing a Florida Will

Changing a Will is just as important as making a new Will. Just because you have already made a Last Will and Testament, does not mean it’s engraved in stone. It needs to be continually revised and updated with changes in your life.

When should I change my Will?

You should keep your Will up to date at all times. You never know when something might happen and there’s no point having an obsolete Will. Actually, an out-of-date Will could have a more devastating effect than having no Will at all.

The act of changing a Florida Will is necessary when you experience a life changing event, such as having a child, getting married, becoming divorced or after having your marriage annulled. It should also be amended (or at least reviewed) when your financial circumstances change, for example after you buy property, have a windfall or receive some form of lump sum payment by way of compensation or say inheritance.

How to change a Florida Will?

There are several ways to go about changing a Florida Will.

One method is to make a codicil, which is a document like a Will. It makes references back to the specific paragraphs of your Will that you want changed. Making a codicil can become very technical and should be done with guidance from a qualified attorney. The document itself needs to be signed with the same formalities as a Last Will and Testament. This method of changing a Florida Will can be messy and requires two documents to be admitted to probate. It is preferable just to make a new Will.

Another option is to simply make a new Will and revoke the former. This way, there is only one document to be construed and submitted for court approval. When writing a new Will, you should revoke your former Will in writing (this revocation should be made in the new document). You should also speak to an attorney as to whether you should physically destroy the former Will as well.

Do I need to record the change?

Once your Will has been altered, you are not required to advise anyone about the change. Florida Wills do not need to be recorded or deposited with the court. You do not even need to tell your executor that the Will has changed. Just remember to keep them informed about where to find your Last Will after your death. If the change related to removing your executor, you do not need to advise the former executor about the removal, but remember to tell your new executor (or somebody) the whereabouts of your Will.

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