How Do I Amend My Will in Maryland?

pen will

While estate planning, you may think that writing your will is a one-and-done event. However, chances are good that changes that occur over your lifetime will make it necessary at some point to update or amend your will to reflect your current circumstances. For instance, if you get divorced, bring a new child into your family, or your intended beneficiaries predecease you, you may need to amend your will to ensure you can still accomplish your goals. Please continue reading to learn how to amend a will in Maryland and how our seasoned Montgomery County Will Drafting Attorney can help you ensure your estate planning documents adequately protect your interests. 

Why Would Someone Need to Amend a Will?

Estate planning is a crucial aspect of safeguarding your loved ones in the future and protecting your legacy. A will is a legal document that stipulates how you would like your property and assets to be distributed after your death. However, if your will is outdated or incomplete due to life changes not reflected in your plan, this legal document won’t serve you any good. Therefore, it’s crucial to enlist the help of an experienced attorney who can help you construct and execute a will, ensuring it’s valid and enforceable in Maryland.

Life is unpredictable. That said, many people wonder how to handle unanticipated circumstances regarding estate planning. A good rule of thumb is to review your will every three to five years. However, there’s no need to wait that long should you have any significant life events warrant updates sooner. These major life events may include:

  • Martial changes
  • New additions
  • Familial changes
  • Property gifted through your will changes significantly
  • You move to a different state
  • A new healthcare diagnosis
  • The individual named as guardian for your minor children is not able to serve
  • The individual named as your personal representative is not able to serve
  • You change your mind about provisions in your will

How to Amend a Will in Maryland?

Under Maryland law, you can legally change the provisions in your will by creating a codicil or an entirely new will. A codicil is a written instrument that amends or supplements the contents of an existing will. A codicil can be used to revoke or change the terms, such as adding a beneficiary. The codicil will be read with the will after your death. The primary concern with using a codicil is that it could get separate from the will, meaning the changes will not affect the stipulated provisions. The codicil can also be confusing when interpreted in conjunction with the original will. In some cases, it’s better to create an entirely new will. This is because it will combine the provisions from the original will with the additions you have included in a codicil.

If you attempt to write in changes to your will without the help of an attorney, you risk making the entire will invalid. If you need to amend your will, please don’t hesitate to contact an adept attorney from the legal team at JD Katz, who can help you make necessary modifications.