Using a Codicil

By Melissa Broad, Contributing Writer.

A codicil is a relatively straightforward document that requires signing and witnessing in the same way as a will. It allows you to make amendments to an existing will document rather than completely re-writing it.


There are no rules stating what you can change using a codicil. It can be anything from a single word or phrase, to many different sections. 


But it is a good idea to only use a codicil for very small change, as they can make sorting out your affairs more complex when you die. 


You don’t need to use the same witnesses as you used in your original will, but a codicil needs to be signed and witnessed as well.


Do not use someone as a witness if they or their partner/spouse benefits from a gift in the codicil document. This will make the gift invalid.


Things to note:

  • Adding a codicil is usually cheaper than writing a new will if you’re using a will writing service or lawyer.

  • The codicil document must be kept with your original will as they can get lost and raise questions about the existing will.

  • If you are changing numerous parts of your will, it’s better to write a new one.


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