Costs of the parties in a recent probate litigation case1 from the South Australian Supreme Court, were ordered to be paid from the deceased’s estate. Following the trial Gray J gave reasons for making that costs order.2
A codicil is a document used to make minor changes to an existing will
A codicil is an additional document added or appended to an existing will for the purpose of making a minor change, amendment or alteration to that will. An example of a minor amendment is when someone wants to change their executor/s and/or trustee/s or appoint a new one. Otherwise lawyers tend to prefer that a new will is made, so as to avoid potential difficulties down the track with interpretation and extra costs.
Legal validity of a codicil
It is important to note that to be legally valid a codicil must be signed and witnessed in the same way as for a will.
Codicil to existing will or a new will?
As described already, codicil is a short document which may be used when only a minor change is required to a will. If the will was made a long time ago, it may be best to make a new will altogether so there is no inconsistencies. Seek professional advice.
This article looks at:
- What is a codicil?
- Making a legally valid codicil
- Codicils must refer to the date on the correct will
- Revoking part of a will by a codicil
- Reviving an earlier will by a codicil
- Meaning of ‘will’ includes a codicil
- How must codicils be signed?
- Storing a codicil
- Potential problems
- An undated, unsigned ‘homemade’ codicil