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Codicil checklist

Make it Legal™ Checklist

Here are a few important steps to take to finish your document

Read the document to make sure it meets your needs. Remember that if you have any questions you can easily Ask a lawyer or get assistance creating a bespoke codicil.

The process for completing and signing your codicil (known as ‘executing your codicil’) is the same as for your will. This involves you and two independent witnesses (in England and Wales) or one independent witness (in Scotland).

Witnesses

In England and Wales, each witness must have mental capacity and should:

  • not be under the age of 18

  • not be an executor or beneficiary of your will (as amended by any codicils)

  • not be related to you or to anyone mentioned in your will or codicil(s), either by blood, marriage, or civil partnership (but they can be related to each other)

In Scotland, your witness:

  • must be over 16

  • must have credible information about your identity (at the time of signing)

  • cannot be blind

  • cannot be illiterate (ie they must be able to write their own name)

It is preferable for your witness(es) to be your age or younger, as this makes it more likely that they will be alive at your death in case they need to give evidence about the signing of your codicil.

For more information, read Codicils and Executing a will

Sign

Your codicil must be signed by hand (ie ‘wet signed’). It cannot be signed online. 

  1. Print your codicil.

  2. Before signing, carefully read your codicil to ensure it is correct and reflects your wishes.

  3. Your witnesses do not need to read your codicil, although they should be informed that it is a codicil to your will that they are witnessing.

  4. Sign and date your codicil in the presence of your witness(es) using your ‘usual’ signature.

  5. Your witness(es) must sign your codicil (by hand) using their ‘usual’ signature in your presence and, if applicable, each other’s. For identification purposes, they should also write the date that they signed, their address, and their occupation. 

For more information, read Codicils. Note that video witnessing is possible in certain situations. For more information, read Executing a will.

Store your signed, dated, and witnessed codicil securely with your will. Do not physically attach your codicil to a will. This can be considered to be altering the actual will, which can invalidate it altogether.

An unsigned (therefore unexecuted and not legally valid) copy of your codicil will be stored automatically in your Rocket Lawyer account ‘Dashboard’ for your records. Do not rely on this copy to amend your will. 

For more information, read Storing your will.

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