Codicil to Will Form

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Updated October 21, 2022

A codicil to will allows an individual (“testator”) to make amendments or modifications to their Last Will and Testament. This is commonly used when the testator decides to change the terms of their estate or if a beneficiary had died. It is required that all codicils be executed in accordance with state law or with a self-proving affidavit. This usually involves the testator signing with at least two witnesses who are not mentioned in the will, as well as a notary public. After that, the codicil is attached and made part of the will.

Signing Requirements – *Two witnesses who are not mentioned in the will (*Colorado and Louisiana require the witnesses to sign in front of a notary public).

Sample Codicil to Will

CODICIL TO WILL

OF

_________________________

I, [NAME], with a mailing address of [ADDRESS] City of [CITY], State of [STATE] (“Testator”) create this Codicil to my Last Will dated the [DAY] day of [MONTH], 20[YEAR] (“Last Will”). I hereby republish and declare said Last Will as amended by this Codicil to be my Last Will.

I. Declaration. I hereby declare the following amendments in this Codicil: [LIST AMENDMENTS]

II. Terms. All other terms, conditions, statements and requests of the Last Will shall remain in effect. In every respect, I hereby ratify, reaffirm and republish my Last Will dated the [DAY] day of [MONTH], 20 [YEAR].

IN WITNESS whereof I, the Testator, have authorized this Codicil on the undersigned date and in the presence of Two (2) Witnesses Two (2) Witnesses and a Notary Public. 

Testator’s Signature ______________________ Date _______________, 20____

Print Name _________________________

I declare, as Witness, the Testator executed this Codicil in my presence.

Witness Signature ______________________ Date _______________, 20____

Print Name _________________________

I declare, as Witness, the Testator executed this Codicil in my presence.

Witness Signature ______________________ Date _______________, 20____

Print Name _________________________

 

How to Amend a Will

Amending a will is actually a lot easier than a lot of people expect and does not involve re-drafting an individual’s entire estate plan. The latest version of the will is needed with the changes to be mentioned in the codicil. Afterward, the testator will be required to sign in accordance with state law.

Step 1 – Find the Latest Version of the Will

testator reviewing last will with attorney

The effective date from the last will along with referencing the sections that need to be changed is necessary in order to complete the codicil. Therefore, the testator will need to find an original copy and is recommended that they review the document to ensure there aren’t any other items that need changing.

Step 2 – Decide the Changes

person discussing codicil with involved parties

With a codicil, anything can be amended in the will. Examples include the personal representative, executor, beneficiaries, or any other part of the estate transfer.

Make a note of the sections and language that need to be changed. It’s required in the codicil for the specific sections to be referenced.

Step 3 – Write the Codicil

person filling out codicil to will form

Download: Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx) or Open Document Text (.odt)

The form itself is basic and simple. The following will be required to include:

  • Testator’s Name and Address
  • Will Creation Date
  • Declaration (changes to the will)

Step 4 – Sign the Codicil 

two witnesses signing the codicil to will in presence of testator

Signing the Codicil requires gathering two witnesses and having them watch the testator sign. Afterward, the witnesses will authorize.

Self-Proving Affidavit – If the testator wants to add an extra layer of security, they can elect to have this document attached, making the witnesses state under oath that they watched the testator execute the codicil. In addition to the two witnesses, a notary public is required to be present for the self-proving affidavit to be valid.

Step 5 – Attach to the Will

testator and attorney attaching codicil to will

The last step is to attach the codicil to the will and distribute the estate plan to family members or beneficiaries who were mentioned. As a safety precaution, it’s recommended to give a copy to the testator’s personal attorney for safekeeping.