Can a Will Be Changed in Maryland?

If you want to change your will in Maryland, you will have to follow certain procedures to ensure the changes are honored after your death.

To change your will in Maryland, you must execute a codicil. This is an amendment to a will and must be signed by a testator in the presence of two witnesses, who must also sign it, just like a will. If you do not execute a codicil properly, no changes will be made to your existing will. Wills should be reviewed periodically so that testators can ensure the documents are up to date with their wishes. It may be prudent for you to make changes to your will following a major life event, such as the birth of a child, the death of a beneficiary, a marriage, or a divorce.

To have our Maryland wills and estate planning attorneys review your case for free, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.

Can I Change My Will in Maryland?

Once a will is finalized, it cannot be changed unless a testator, the person whose will it is, takes certain action. Amendments made on physical copies of wills will not be valid in Maryland.

You cannot change your will by taking pen to paper, marking it up, and initialing the changes. Wills are important documents. If you could change wills without following specific procedures, they could be improperly changed without the testator’s approval or involvement. That said, wills can be changed if the necessary steps are taken by a testator, their conservator, or their guardian.

If you want to amend your will after it is finalized, contact our Baltimore wills and estate planning attorneys to begin the process. Our lawyers can help you draft a codicil, which can change certain provisions within your original last will and testament. A person cannot change their will after becoming incompetent.

If you want to make substantive changes to your current will, it might benefit you to draft an entirely new will instead of executing a codicil. Once a will is officially replaced, the previous version will be revoked. This can be done any time before a testator dies or becomes incompetent.

To avoid having to make significant changes to your will after it is finalized, discuss your wishes with our attorneys before making your original last will and testament. We can help you decide how you wish your assets to be dispersed among your family and loved ones and make sure your desires are reflected in your will.

How Can I Change My Will in Maryland?

If you wish to change a portion of your will in Maryland, you can do so by executing a codicil. This must be done according to the same procedures you followed when you made your original will.

Before executing a codicil, start by identifying the changes you want to make to your existing will. Explain those changes to our attorneys, and we can advise you on how best to proceed. In order for a codicil to be valid and its amendments to be honored following a testator’s death, it must be executed in the same manner as a will. This means that it must be typed up and signed by a testator while two witnesses are present. Witnesses must be legal adults and must also sign the codicil in the presence of the testator. Wills and codicils do not have to be notarized in Maryland but can be. A notary can act as one of the two witnesses to a testator’s signing of a will or codicil.

Once you have taken the necessary steps to change your will by executing a codicil, you can file it with the Office of the Register of Wills in Maryland. You can also keep copies at home in a safe and secure location.

If you do not execute a codicil properly, it will not be honored after your death. This means that any changes you want to make to your will may be void. A will cannot be changed after a testator’s death. Similarly, a will cannot be changed if a testator has become incompetent unless the court in Maryland has appointed a guardian or conservator.

Should I Change My Will in Maryland?

If you made a will early in your life, have since accumulated more assets, or your relationships among loved ones have changed, you might want to amend your last will and testament by executing a codicil in Maryland.

Major life events may happen that cause you to want to change your will. For example, if you recently got married or divorced, you might want to update your last will and testament to include or exclude a spouse. Or, if you recently had another child or grandchild, you may want to include them as a beneficiary of your assets in your will. Similarly, if a beneficiary passes away before you do, executing a codicil to redistribute your assets among living beneficiaries might be wise. Changes to wills might be made as testators accrue more assets, such as property. Relationships also change over time, meaning you might want to update the executor of your will.

It’s wise to review your will every three to five years or so to make sure that it reflects your current wishes for the distribution of your assets upon your death.

Changes to wills should not be made on a whim. Wills are important documents that dictate what happens to a person’s assets after their death. It is important to discuss the changes you want to make before you officially make them. Once a codicil is finalized, the changes to your last will and testament will become valid. If you change your mind again, you must execute another codicil. This can become confusing and complicated and might require you to write an entirely new will altogether.

Call Our Lawyers to Change Your Will in Maryland

You can call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case assessment with our Rockville wills and estate planning attorneys.