Is it legal to make changes to a will with a letter?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 27, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Is it legal that a person who makes a will changes it with a letter. There's no doubt that she wrote the letter

Expert Answers

It is generally not legal to change a will by a letter. A will is a formal legal document. It must must be signed and dated by the will writer, and then witnessed by two witnesses. There are two ways to change a will 1) to prepare what is called a "codicil," which is an amendment of the will. The codicil then must be signed and witnessed as the will was (but not necessarily witnessed by the two original witness). 2) By revoking the will. The will can be revoked by the will writer intentionally destroying it. More commonly a will is revoked by the will writer preparing a new will, which states, "I revoke all prior wills I may have made."

All this is basic hornbook law. Depending on the state law of the state of your will writer, and the cleverness of a lawyer, it's possible that a successful challenge could somehow be made to this will. I doubt it though, and personally I wouldn't spend much money persuing it.