Parenting & Family

Adding Newborn to Existing Will

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 22nd, 2020 9:15 pm
[OP]
Member
Feb 18, 2013
290 posts
70 upvotes
Scarborough

Adding Newborn to Existing Will

Hello,

My Wife and I had a Will written up when our first child was born, and we welcomed our second into the world recently.

We contacted the Law Office where we had our Wills originally written to inquire about how we can add our second child to the will, and add her as a beneficiary, and they said we had to write up a new will, and will cost $700

Is this correct? I was surprised to hear that a new will had to be written. Anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks
9 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
18119 posts
9180 upvotes
I am not at a lawyer, however when I was reading recently I came across a term that covered making changes - codicil. It is what allows for amendments to a will and can be used instead of writing a new will. That said, and again I am not a lawyer, a codicil may not be appropriate when making a large number of changes to your will (which adding an additional child may do). This could be why the law office states a new will needs to be written.

Now there is a lawyer on RFD, and I am sure she tires of being called on so I apologize in advance, but perhaps she can help. @angryaudifanatic
Deal Addict
Mar 24, 2015
1321 posts
627 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
I remember being asked by our lawyer if we were planning on having more children when we did our will. We were not sure and I believe he put it in the will that any future children would be covered, i.e. everything would be split between the number of kids we have.
Deal Addict
Nov 10, 2018
4585 posts
5087 upvotes
TLDR You need a new Will if you want it to have a good chance to reflect your wishes.

If I have time later I'll explain but the short of it is that you really should start from scratch again.
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
[OP]
Member
Feb 18, 2013
290 posts
70 upvotes
Scarborough
Thanks for the reply @angryaudifanatic.

Is that still true even if we want everything to be split equally among our kids in case something happens to us?

Also, is there anything I can do outside of writing a brand new will everytime we have a new kid?

Thanks for the help
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2009
886 posts
580 upvotes
Simcoe County
caddie444 wrote: Thanks for the reply @angryaudifanatic.

Is that still true even if we want everything to be split equally among our kids in case something happens to us?

Also, is there anything I can do outside of writing a brand new will everytime we have a new kid?

Thanks for the help
When you have the new will written up, your lawyer should make it so that ANY children you have share equally in your estate. Your lawyer should have done this in the first place. If this is the same lawyer and they didn't do that, I'd consider changing lawyers. It should have been a given.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 26, 2005
10096 posts
1954 upvotes
Toronto
Also custody matters as well in case parents die.
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
4060 posts
2544 upvotes
Ottawa
Yes it should have said children. The chance of both parents dying at the same time without the children and thus this change becoming important is infinitesimally small. It varies of course but well below .1%. $700 put into an investment for a new born will be a significant amount of money at maturity. Anyway it will be challenged if you both die and the will wasn't changed as they won't allow it all to go the other child. Sure that might cost more that $700 but the chance is very low. Really the only point of such a will is peace of mind. As for custody court will decide based on best interests of child. Sure you can express wishes which becomes default but people also change. You choose your sister who is most responsible but she gets divorce and falls apart between the will and event.
Deal Fanatic
May 22, 2003
8739 posts
5593 upvotes
Vancouver
jrbb0309 wrote: When you have the new will written up, your lawyer should make it so that ANY children you have share equally in your estate. Your lawyer should have done this in the first place. If this is the same lawyer and they didn't do that, I'd consider changing lawyers. It should have been a given.
This is what our lawyer did when we had our will drawn up.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
23567 posts
22526 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
jrbb0309 wrote: When you have the new will written up, your lawyer should make it so that ANY children you have share equally in your estate. Your lawyer should have done this in the first place. If this is the same lawyer and they didn't do that, I'd consider changing lawyers. It should have been a given.
This

A decent family lawyer versed in estate planning would have done this right the first time
Utilizing percentages vs any other form of distribution

Example ... Spouse inherits 100%
In the event of us both passing, then equal percentages to surviving children
Joe (50% ) & Jane (50% )
In the event that we have any further children beyond Joe & Jane
The wish remains equal percentages per child
(3 = 33.3 % each ... 4 = 25% each ... 5 = 20% each etc)

If this wasn’t done originally
Then a codicil to add an additional child & clarification ... should suffice

BUT ... If it’s not just clarification
But a major change ... example you end up having a disabled child you need to provide more for (or after they reach the age of maturity)
Or you’ve discovered an out of wedlock child from your past ... that you now want to provide for
Or your spouse has passed, or you’ve divorced

Then ya, a NEW WILL must be drawn up

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