How Do I Update My Will in New York? | What You Should Know.

A hand holding a pen poised over the signature line of an updated will and testament document, indicating the solemn act of finalizing one's affairs.

A will allows you to express your wishes regarding the distribution and transfer of your assets after you pass on, and otherwise name the guardians to care for your minor children. But you and your witnesses signing this testament does not necessarily mean that it is set in stone. With life always changing, your will should also have the opportunity to change. Find out what circumstances may prompt you to update your will and how a proficient Nassau County estate planning lawyer at Barrows Levy PLLC can navigate you through the process.

Under what circumstances should I update my will?

Typically, an update to your will is necessary whenever you undergo a significant change in your life. Such examples are as follows:

  • You get married.
  • You get divorced.
  • You add children to your family.
  • You welcome grandkids to your family.
  • You switch careers.
  • You obtain more assets.
  • You become closer to some relatives.
  • You become estranged from some relatives.

What do I need to do to update my will?

You have two options when it comes to updating your will: make a codicil or make a new will. The similarity between the two is that they both require your signature and the signatures of two witnesses, just like your original will.

If you only require minor changes to your existing will, it may be in your best interest to opt for a codicil. Specifically, a codicil is a document that is attached to your original will that states the changes you wish to make. Such changes can be revoking certain bequests in the original will, adding bequests, or acknowledging later-born children. After you have passed on, your two documents will be read and interpreted together. So, it is important that your codicil does not create confusion or conflict with your original will.

However, if you would like to avoid the possibility of confusion and conflict altogether, it may be in your best interest to opt for a new will. This is because, with a new will, there will be no extra sheets that have the potential of being lost or misconstrued. It is important to note that you will need to revoke the old will to be certain that it does not take effect in the event of your passing.

If you require any assistance with updating your will, whether it be via a codicil or a new will altogether, do not hesitate in reaching out to a talented attorney at our law firm today.


If you need a Nassau County lawyer who has significant experience handling family and estate planning matters, contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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