Under Ohio Law, a Will, or a modification of a Will, known as a Codicil, must meet the same execution requirements. That is, it must be signed by the testator at the end with two individuals witnessing your signature.
Not uncommonly, individual will come into the office with their old original Wills marked up with changes that they want made. The markings can create a big problem. It can effectively invalidate the old will and not having met the execution requirements, not qualify as a codicil, leaving the person with no valid will.
If you want to make changes to your Will, the preferred method is to keep your original Will untouched and write proposed changes on a copy or other sheet of paper to give to the attorney. If the old Will needs to be replaced, it will be destroyed after the new Will is executed.
If the changes that need to be made are minor, for example, if only the executor needs to be changed, this can often be done with a simple codicil. If the changes are more significant, it usually makes more sense to execute a new Will.
If you are considering making changes to your Will, then there has probably been a change in your life (ie. divorce, marriage, new child, death in the family). Those changes are best discussed with an experienced estate planning attorney who can ensure that you are aware of all the issues and options that you should be considering.
Many estate planning attorney do not charge for initial estate planning consultations and are a good opportunity to get much needed guidance on your estate planning needs. For more information on making changes to your Will, contact a Cleveland Will lawyer.