What is a Codicil?

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What is a Codicil?

One of the major advantages of creating a Will is that it comes into effect only after the death of the testator. Until that event, the testator can revoke or alter a Will any number of times. A document by which a Will is altered is known as codicil.

Codicil Definition

Section 2(b) of the Indian Succession Act defines a codicil as:

‘Codicil’ means an instrument made in relation to a Will, and explaining, altering or adding to its disposition, and shall be deemed to form part of the Will”.

How to execute a codicil?

A codicil must be executed similar to Will, being written and attested by two witnesses. Further, as a codicil is a part of the Will, reference must be made to the Will in interpreting the provisions of the Will and vice-versa. Like a Will, a codicil can be altered, added to and further explained by another codicil by proper execution and attestation by witnesses.

Codicil Recommendation

  • In most cases, it is easier to create a new Will rather than add a codicil to an existing Will. Creating a new Will by adding clauses like “I revoke all former testamentary dispositions” is more advisable than creating a codicil, which could result in confusion.
  • In case a codicil is created as an addendum to an existing Will, it should be stored along with the Will with proper attestation. It is recommended that any codicil be reviewed by a professional to avoid any discrepancies or conflicts with the Will.

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