When should you update your old will?

last-will-and-testamentWhile is important to have a Will and related Estate documents, it is equally important to review and update any existing Wills you may have to ensure that they correctly reflect your wishes. It is especially important to re-visit your Wills after certain life events occur either to yourself or someone named in your Will.

Below, I will review certain events which may require you to review your current Will:

Marriage or Divorce: The marriage of yourself or someone named in your will may affect your current will and require an update. This is especially important if it is a second marriage or if there are children from different marriages. If you or someone named in your will gets Divorced, you should also review your Will, especially if former spouses are named in your old Will.

Children: If you have had new children or grandchildren since your last Will, or if anyone named in your Will has since had children, you should review your will to determine whether the “new” children should be included as beneficiaries or alternate beneficiaries.

Beneficiary reaching Adulthood: If you executed a Will when your children or other beneficiaries were minors, you should carefully review the Will once they become adults. If a child becomes an adult, you may wish to update the manner in which they receive their inheritance. In addition, you may also wish to update your will to name your children as executors, since the old Will may have named another adult family member as executor/guardian for the children while they were minors.

Death or Incapacity of a Beneficiary/Executor: If your Will names persons who are deceased as beneficiaries or executors, then the Will may have be updated to remove the deceased person and add an alternate person. In addition, if one of your beneficiaries is disabled or incapacitated, then you should review the Will to determine whether the person should be removed from your Will or if a trust should be drafted for their benefit. If a person named as your executor becomes disabled or incapacitated, it is very important to update the executor in a new Will since that person may no longer be able to administer your estate.

Change in Financial Status: If your estate has significantly increased or decreased since your last Will, then it should be reviewed to ensure it has the most updated tax language. Also, if there has been a change in the financial status of a beneficiary, you may want to update your Will. For example, if one of your beneficiaries has judgments, issues with creditors, money problems, or is on government assistance, you should review and update any bequests to that person. In these cases, it may be advisable to establish a trust for the beneficiary. Other examples of events which should cause you to review your Will include moving to another state, changes in tax laws, family problems, or if more than 5 years has passed since you last reviewed your Will. You should speak to an experienced attorney to get more information on updating your Will.

You can email your questions to info@silvagniandcomolaw.com

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Practice Areas

  • ELDER LAW
  • MEDICAID APPLICATIONS: HOME CARE
  • MEDICAID APPLICATIONS: NURSING HOMES
  • ESTATE PLANNING-WILLS AND TRUSTS
  • ESTATE PLANNING-POWERS OF ATTORNEY
  • ESTATE ADMINISTRATION AND PROBATE
  • CONTESTED WILLS AND ESTATE LITIGATION
  • REAL ESTATE
  • ITALIAN

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