Modifying or revoking, updating a will (testament). Making a will is necessary to make your last wishes known.  Especially when it comes to property management and inheritance.  However, unforeseen events may occur (e. g. birth, child, illness, death of a beneficiary, etc.).  During your lifetime, you can still change your will.  The testator may revoke or modify his will at any time.


We call a codicil the action to modify a will (add or delete clauses, heirs, etc.), in order to revoke or amend it.  If only some elements need to be changed, the codicil is a possible solution.  However, if a very large part of the will needs to be amended, it is preferable to write a new one.  Please note that if your codicil is made by a notary, it is considered an authentic deed and does not require verification of its validity.

Notarial codicil Like a notarial will, is registered in the Registre des dispositions testamentaires et des mandats du Québec.  Preserved in your notary’s archives, the codicil will allow you to be quickly put into action if your death occurs.  Thus, the risk of loss of the codicil remains non-existent.

Non-notarial codicil Like the will, it is possible to make a holograph codicil, or in front of witnesses codicil.  However, there will be a necessary examination by the court to verify its authenticity.  This verification exercise will delay the application of your codicil and your will.  This period may last a few months and during this time, the procedure of settlement of the succession will be delayed until the verification of the codicil.  This is not to mention the audit costs, which can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Best time to update a will (testament)

The big question : when is it good to update your will?  The answer is simple: when you have a change in your situation.  This includes marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, the purchase of a business or a house and many others.

If you do not have a specific change, you can change your testament at any time.  For example, you could tell yourself that you want to review your will every ‘’X’’ years to see if your last wishes are consistent with what you want.  But everyone is different: some people check their will once and no more after.


Although you have made your will, the document is not irrevocable.  You can change it at any time if you have a change in your life or in your wishes.  You can update your testament by making either a codicil (for minor changes) or revoke your old testament by making a new one (for major changes).

No matter what change you want to make, it is strongly recommended to consult a notary for your will / codicil; that way, you’re going to get legal advice, and you’re going to have an authentic, notarized document that doesn’t require verification. Therefore, your last wishes can be put into action more quickly.

Modifying or revoking, updating a will (testament) -the global price, our fees, and the costs for a modification (cancellation, revocation, change of a will) are affordable.

Me Leopold Lincà NOTARY


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