Supplementary Inventory

The creation and execution of a last will are fundamental components.

A will allows an individual to express their wishes regarding the distribution of their assets upon their passing.

However, as life evolves, changes in circumstances and assets may occur.

To address these changes, legal mechanisms such as the supplementary inventory play a critical role.

Understanding The Supplementary Inventory

A supplementary inventory is a legal instrument utilized to modify or supplement an existing will without revoking the entire document.

It is often referred to as a codicil or an amendment.

It allows the testator, the person creating the will, to make necessary updates, additions, or deletions to the terms of their will.

This instrument is particularly valuable during life events such as marriage, divorce, and children’s birth.

It is also important during major changes in financial holdings, necessitating adjustments to the will’s provisions.

Legal Formalities

Certain formalities must be strictly observed to maintain the legal validity of a supplementary inventory.

These include:

Testamentary Capacity: 

The testator must have the mental capacity.

This is to understand the nature and extent of the changes made through the supplementary inventory.

They should be of sound mind and not under duress or undue influence.


In most jurisdictions, the supplementary inventory must be signed in the presence of witnesses.

This is just like the original will.

These witnesses attest to the testator’s signature and their intention to modify the will.

Also, these witnesses are typically unrelated to the testator and not beneficiaries.


Some jurisdictions may require supplementary inventory.

This is to be notarized, further verifying the document’s authenticity.

Common Scenarios Requiring A Supplementary Inventory

Some common scenarios are discussed below:

Change In Beneficiaries: 

A supplementary inventory can be used when a testator wishes to add, remove, or modify beneficiaries.

It is useful to specify these changes.

This is particularly important in marriage, divorce, or children’s birth.

Distribution Of Assets: 

If the testator acquires new assets or disposes of existing ones, the supplementary inventory can be used again.

This is to outline how these changes should affect the distribution of their estate.

Executor Appointment: 

Should the testator wish to designate a new executor or change the powers granted.

This is to the existing executor; the supplementary inventory provides a mechanism for these adjustments.

Legal Implications

Please update a will to reflect current circumstances to avoid unintended consequences.

Outdated wills may result in assets being distributed in ways the testator did not intend among heirs and beneficiaries.

A supplementary inventory ensures the testator’s wishes remain current and legally enforceable.

Example 1: Sarah’s Supplementary Inventory

Sarah, a successful businesswoman, passed away, leaving behind a will.

She mentioned her bank accounts, real estate properties, and a few investments in her primary will.

However, Sarah had several valuable pieces of artwork, antique furniture, and a vintage car that she didn’t include in the primary inventory.

Supplementary Inventory:

Description: Sarah’s supplementary inventory details her valuable assets not initially listed in her primary will.

Assets:  It includes a list of her artwork, specifying each piece’s title, artist, estimated value, and location (e.g., “Painting: ‘Starry Night’ by Vincent van Gogh, valued at $2 million, hanging in the living room”).

Liabilities: If Sarah had any outstanding debts or loans related to these assets, the supplementary inventory would mention them.

Beneficiaries: Sarah’s supplementary inventory designates which beneficiaries will inherit these additional assets, ensuring they are distributed according to her wishes.

Executor’s Role: The will’s executor can use the supplementary inventory to appropriately manage and distribute these assets.

By creating a supplementary inventory, Sarah ensures that her valuable possessions are noticed.

Also, she makes sure that her beneficiaries receive a comprehensive view of her estate.