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Can I make a change to my will without a lawyer?

Jamestown, NY |

My husband and I want to add our niece as a beneficiary in our will. We raised her as our daughter and were told not to add her to our will when she was still underage because her parents would get control. Now that she's 21 we want to include her. Can we just type up a statement and keep it with our will or do we need a lawyer to make it legitimate?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. I would not suggest you change your existing will in this manner without an attorney. You may very well invalidate your entire will by doing so. While an attorney could add a codicil to your will, it would probably be a much better choice to revoke your current will and write an entirely new one in order to ensure your wishes are carried out.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. I agree with Ellen. A mistake in the drafting or execution of a will or codicil may produce some veru undesirable results. Better to have a professional do it.

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