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How do you go about changing a will you are unhappy with

East Falmouth, MA |

made in massachusetts

Attorney Answers 3


There are three ways to change a Will. By executing a new Will, physically destroying it, or by drafting a codicil that acts as an amendment to the Will. If you draft a new Will you should destroy any copy of the old instrument to avoid confusion later on. If you choose to draft a codicil you must observe the same formal requirements as if you were drafting a whole new Will. There must be 2 witnesses and a notary and all three should be dissinterested.

I would advice against online or template forms. Most lawyers have very reaosnable rates for a Will and you will have peace of mind knowing it is legal and done right.

Good luck.

The content of this message does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to be relied upon by anyone. It is highly recommended that the reader seek the opinion of a qualified attorney in his or her area for consultation and assistance. There are applicable statute of limitations and other considerations that only a qualified attorney can provide guidance on after being fully informed as to all of the circumstance of your particular case.

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Assuming this is your own will, you have the requisite testamentary capacity, and there is no fraud, undue influence or duress involved ... You can either (1) execute an amendment (or a 'codicil') to your existing will to change or update specific provisions, or (2) replace the existing will with an entirely new will. If you choose option (2), take care to destroy all copies of any existing will(s) and include language in the new will establishing the new will as your last will and testament, and revoking all prior wills and codicils.

In either case, whether you choose to update your existing will with a codicil or you choose to create a new will to replace the existing will, the resulting document needs to be executed as required by the laws of Massachusetts. In that case, the document needs to be signed in the presence of two disinterested witnesses who also sign the document attesting to the fact that you are who you say you are, you are of sound mind, you are signing voluntarily and under no constraints or undue influence.

Hope this helps.

This answer is in response to a general legal question and is intended for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. Use of this website and its e-mail link does not create an attorney-client relationship with Attorney Mekdsy. Messages with confidential information should not be sent to Attorney Mekdsy via the e-mail link. The information provided in this answer must not be used as a substitute for consulting with an attorney. Brian Mekdsy is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts only.

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1) Replace it with a new will, and handle destruction of the old will.
2) Write a "codicil," which acts to amend the will, rather than replace it.
3) Destroy the will and rely on intestate distribution.

This is a tricky topic, and you really should get a lawyer.

Do you want accurate, personalized, legal advice that you can rely on? You will have to hire an attorney, not ask on Avvo. I am not your attorney and am not creating an attorney-client relationship by this post. I am therefore giving only general advice. This advice may not apply to you or your situation; may not take account of all possibilities, and may not match the advice I would give to a client. DO NOT rely on this advice or any other advice on Avvo to make your legal decisions. If you want an answer to a legal question you should retain an attorney who is licensed in your state.

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