Can I Change My Will?
Colorado law presumes your Will is revocable and modifiable. What exactly does that mean? Let’s begin with revoking a will. To revoke a Will means you take some sort of action to show you no longer want it to be legally binding. The key here is to show your intent to revoke the Will.
For example, through the physical act of burning the Will, tearing it up, or executing another Will states your intent was to revoke all prior Wills.
You modify a Will through a codicil. Simply put, a codicil is a document that you add to your existing will. This document adds a new provision to your will or notes the changes you want to make.
Make a Will a Contract
It is possible, however, to make a Will that cannot be changed. State law allows you to enter a contract to not revoke or modify your will. A contract to make a Will under Colorado Revised Statute § 15-11-514 must be established by:
- an expressed reference in the Will to a contract and evidence proving the terms of the contract,
- a document signed by the person that died showing that he or she intended to contract, and the Will must show the important terms of the contract.
So, for a Will to be a contract, the Will must state it is a contract, be signed by the person who died, and state all of the important terms of the contract. Keep in mind a reciprocal Will – one that is the same as someone else’s – does not prove the Will was intended to be a contract.
It is never a good idea to rely on your Will to protect your children. Here’s why: children of the first spouse who dies in a marriage are often disinherited after the remaining spouse remarries or changes their Will. Check out our article on blended families to learn more.