Over time your life and situations with relatives changes. If you already have a will drafted, you can make changes to it yourself by writing amendments or changing instructions for gifts. This is known as a “Codicil” and it needs to follow the same rules as you would when drafting the original will . You can’t amend a will in California by crossing out and writing in words, or adding or tearing out pages. You have to follow the same particularities.
For instance, the testator must be at least 18 years old, have sufficient mental capacity and must sign the codicil before at least two witnesses.
A codicil to a will in California amends the will, so that when the time comes, the court must read both documents together to determine what the testator had in mind for his estate. Since the codicil is written and executed after the will has been signed, the codicil’s instructions usually trump any contrary instructions in the will.
Dates are very helpful in determining which document trumps the other, of course.
If you would like to change your will, the proper way to do it is to speak with an attorney and follow all of the formalities. Following these formalities will ensure that your wishes are carried when your will is probated.