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Codicil to Last Will and Testament

Last revision Last revision 17/03/2024
Formats FormatsWord and PDF
Size Size2 pages
Fill out the template

Last revisionLast revision: 17/03/2024

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 2 pages

Fill out the template

A Codicil to the Last Will is a testamentary document which adds, modifies or revokes a part of or the entire Will. The Testator is the person making the Will or Codicil.

Although this document is not a Will, however it is used to change specific provisions of the Last Will but leaves the remaining part of the Will. It forms part of the last Will and both documents must be read together upon the death of the Testator.

For a Codicil to be valid, the following must be present:

  • It must be in writing.
  • The Testator must be at least 18 years old.
  • The Testator must be of sound mind. This shows that the Testator understands the extent of his/her properties and understands the effect of making a Will.
  • Two witnesses: There must be at least two persons who must attest to the Will.
  • Signature of the Testator: The Will must be signed by the Testator in the presence of at least two witness or if not signed in the presence of the witnesses, the signature must be acknowledged by the witnesses.
  • Signature of the witnesses: The two witness must not sign in the presence of each other but must sign in the presence of the Testator. This means that one witness can sign without the other witness being present, but the Testator must be present when both witnesses are signing.
  • The Testator must have written the Will and/or codicil voluntarily i.e without coercion or fraud.

When to use this document

A codicil can be used in the following circumstances:

  • Where the executor(s) of the Will has passed or is no longer desirable or available.
  • Where the Testator intends to change the existing beneficiaries or add new ones.
  • Where the special needs of the Testator's family has changed. For example, the guardian(s) for the minor children has passed or the guardian(s) needs to be removed (where the children have become adults), or replaced.
  • Where the Testator has acquired new properties or assets and wants to include them in the Will.
  • Where the gifts bequeathed in the Will are no longer available.
  • Where the funeral arrangements of the Testator has changed.

How to use this document

This document can be used by a person who intends to make amendments to their Last Will instead of drafting a new Will. Before using this document, the form filler must read the original Will and identify the provision(s) the Testator would like amend.

The form filler can amend the Will by:

  • Making additions to the last Will. These are provisions the form filler may add to the Will. Such as bequeathing additional gifts to beneficiaries, appointing an additional executor or guardian, adding burial provisions or arrangements, etc.
  • Deleting existing provision(s) in the last Will. These are existing provisions in the last Will which the form filler would like to delete.
  • Making changes to the last Will. These are provisions the form filler would like to replace with another provision.

After filling this form, it should be printed and signed by the Testator in the presence of the two witnesses. The witnesses must fill their names in the column assigned to them and equally sign the document in the presence of the Testator.

If the Testator is an illiterate or blind person, the contents of the document must be read to him/her in a language that he/she understands and the Testator must perfectly understand and approve the contents of this document before affixing his/her thumb impression/ mark.

Note that a beneficiary should not be a witnesses to the Will.

After filling this form, the Testator should keep a copy of the Will with the Probate Registry, High Court, his/her lawyer and/or bank for safe keeping.

Applicable Laws

The Wills Act, 1837 is applicable. Also, the Wills Laws of various States are applicable. Under the Wills Act, a Testator must be at least 21 years. While according to the Wills law of various States, like Lagos State, the Testator must be at least 18 years.

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