» more from Slideshows


There’s no code to this sometimes critical element of estate planning. Codicil is the name for the legal document used to make changes to a previously existing will. It must be executed with the same legal requirements, such as witnesses.

The alternative to a codicil is a new will. The term and concept can come up in probate (court-supervised) proceedings, where there are questions about the validity and/or chronological status of rival documents.

Photo: Photodisc | Getty Images