Codicil Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Codicil, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Codicil?

It is an addition, substraction, deletion or revoking or any amendment in form of written document along with the original will.It saves the will maker to remake the will, though the execution of this additional supplement has to be solemnised in the same manner as the original Will. The document needs to be signed , dated and refered to the original Will along with the amendment. The original Will and this codicil has to be submitted to the court for approval and execution.

History and Meaning of Codicil

A codicil is a legal document that is used to make changes, modifications, additions or deletions to an already existing will. This document is often used when a person wants to make a change to their will without completely rewriting the will. A codicil must be executed in the same manner as the original will and must be signed, dated, and witnessed by at least two witnesses.

The use of codicils dates back to ancient Roman law, where wills and codicils were used to pass down property and wealth. Over time, the use of codicils became more widespread and was eventually adopted into the legal systems of other countries.

Examples of Codicil

  1. John creates a will in which he leaves his entire estate to his wife. Later on, John changes his mind and wants to leave a portion of his estate to his children. John creates a codicil to his will, which specifies the changes he wants to make.
  2. Susan creates a will in which she leaves a bequest to her sister. After Susan's sister passes away, Susan decides to create a codicil to her will to remove the bequest since her sister is no longer alive.
  3. David creates a will in which he designates his son as the executor of his estate. However, David's son is unable to act as the executor due to health issues. David creates a codicil to his will, naming his daughter as the new executor.

Legal Terms Similar to Codicil

  1. Will: A legal document that specifies how a person's property and assets will be distributed after their death.
  2. Trust: A legal arrangement in which one party holds property for the benefit of another.
  3. Power of Attorney: A legal document that grants an individual the authority to act on behalf of another in specific legal or financial matters.