Wills and Codicil

A will is a legal document, which, upon your death, becomes the governing document which transfers your probate assets to your beneficiaries. Probate assets are those assets not held in trust, joint or community property with rights of survivorship, life insurance not naming your estate as the beneficiary, employee benefit plans or payable upon death accounts. A will may immediately distribute your assets, create a testamentary trust or transfer your assets into an existing living trust.

A will can make provisions for the appointment of a guardian and conservator for your minor children and can establish a trust for their support and care when you are no longer available for them. A will is modifiable which gives you flexibility to change it if your circumstances change.

A codicil is simply an amendment to one’s will. Typically a codicil will be executed in order to make relatively minor changes to a will. For example, a codicil could change who you would appoint as an executor or personal representative or as a trustee or successor trustee if you have established a testamentary trust for your children. A codicil can also change who you have appointed as guardian for your children. If the terms of your will are going to be substantially modified, it may be just as easy to simply redo your original will. A creation of a new will automatically revokes a prior will if your new will so states. Contact the attorneys for an appointment to discuss your estate planning options.