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Is it possible to update my will in New York?

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2023 | Wills

Life comes with many unforeseen and unexpected changes. When you are in the midst of a change, estate planning documents may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But, what if something changes, you may lose a spouse or what if your favorite charity changes? This means that you will need to change your estate planning documents.

Can you update your will or make a new one?

Yes. New York allows you to amend your existing will. These changes are called codicils. A codicil permits additions, alterations or deleting items in the original will states.

Can I start from scratch?

Yes. New York also permits the revocation or cancellation of a will. So, if you want to start anew, the state suggests three different methods. The first method is to just simply write a new will entirely, provided you are of sound mind at the time. The second is to professionally write a notice that you want to revoke the will, also provided your mental capacity is acceptable.

Lastly, and the most dramatic, you can permanently damage your will, by cuts, burning or other similar disfigurements. The general idea is you can start fresh, but you must be of sound mind and properly revoke the prior will because you do not want to pass with multiple different wills.

Last thoughts

Life events happen. You may want to update beneficiaries, change executors or update property changes, like the loss or gain of a home, in your will. Whatever your reasons, will amendments or revocations are possible. Estate planning can be a gift to those around you in more way than one, but it also ensures you have as much of the say in what happens after you pass as possible.