Underwater family could use a lifesaver

BY BRUCE WILLIAMS Published: April 30, 2012
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stead of going to my attorney for this simple change, can I just make it myself, get the change notarized and leave it at that? -- T.V., via email

DEAR T.V.: Very simple reply: Never monkey with a will. Never, never, never write in the margins or try to add a codicil of your own. If you make any change, notarized or otherwise, you are likely to invalidate the entire document.

You would never know if what you did was right or not because, unfortunately, these things don't come to light until after your demise. And at that point, you no longer can speak to your intentions.

If you wish to make a change, see the attorney who drew up the will or, if he or she is no longer in the picture, find another attorney. It might be easier to redraft the entire document. That is up to the attorney.

("The Bruce Williams Show" is coming to the Internet, and Bruce needs your help. Learn more at GetMoreBruce.com.)

(Send questions to bruce@brucewilliams.com or to Smart Money, P.O. Box 7150, Hudson, FL 34674. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.)

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