Toronto, OH asked in Estate Planning for Ohio

Q: How can I add on to my will. I want to clarify what is included with my house like my vehicles and tractor

I already gave my daughter her inheritance of 50 acres. My son gets the family house and 10 acres. My daughter is questioning whether he gets the contents of the house and vehicles and such. I want to add onto my will that my son gets all that.

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4 Lawyer Answers
Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Hilliard, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: If you already have a will, you can execute a codicil with the same formality that amends your existing will. Or, you can make a new will...which may be easier. I suggest being specific in the will and also communicating to your kids how this will play out. Knowing in advance can drastically decrease any tension between your kids after you're death.

C. Lawrence Huddleston III and Steven J. Fromm agree with this answer

Mary Ellen Leslie Esq.
PREMIUM
Mary Ellen Leslie Esq.
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • New Albany, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: You can make minor changes to your will through the use of a codicil. Contact an attorney for assistance in adding a codicil to your will.

Steven J. Fromm agrees with this answer

Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Philadelphia, PA

A: Either a codicil or a newly drafted will can accomplish your goals. A new will is always cleaner and it is only one document. If you have a will and a codicil, then both are submitted to probate.

One side bar issue: You say you already gifted 50 acres to your daughter. You should be aware that she takes a carryover basis in this property at the time of the gift. She does not get a step up in basis to the date of death value. If she sells this property during her lifetime, the gain may be a lot greater than if you merely left it to her in the will. If you had done that she would have gotten a step up in basis to the date of death value in the property.

C. Lawrence Huddleston III
C. Lawrence Huddleston III
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Columbus, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: An amendment to a Will is called a "codicil." It must be executed with the same witnessing formalities as a Will. If you did this Will yourself and did not have it done by an expert estate planning lawyer, there are probably other things that are not clear and you do not realize it.

With modern computers and word processing, we do not recommend codicils. If they get separated or lost, the outcome could be worse than if there was no Will at all.

Wills are so important, and can't be changed after incapacity or death, so it is worth doing it properly with an attorney who knows what he or she is doing ... and not all lawyers do. For example, if your existing Will was drafted by an attorney who didn't clarify the matter of personal property in the house, it was not drafted by an expert.

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