When to update your Will
Common situations for when a will should be reviewed
A will should be reviewed periodically every few short years to make sure it still reflects your wishes about precisely how your assets should be distributed when you die. It is particularly important to review your will when:
- You marry: you’ll want to add your spouse to your will when she marries. Some states require a spouse inherits a percentage of their property, regardless of provisions in the will, but it may be less than what you want your spouse to inherit or, according to state law, your spouse may not inherit anything .
- You divorce : to ensure that your ex-spouse does not inherit your property upon your death, you should review it at the time of divorce, assuming your spouse was included in the will that is reviewing.
- You have children : when you have children you will want to appoint them a guardian to look after them or change the way the money or property will be given when they reach adulthood.
- His children come of age : you will want to change the amount you set for your children or change the way the money or property will be provided when they become adults.
- You have grandchildren : if you want to set specific bequests of money or property to their grandchildren, then his will must be revised to reflect the changes.
- Your financial situation changes significantly : if your financial situation improves significantly, you’ll want to have to add additional beneficiaries or beneficiaries represented by works of charity to his will. Review your will also need to take into account property tax implications.
- You state changes : different states have different state tax and you will need to review your will to take into account the different tax structure. It is therefore important to have an estate planning attorney to review your will when you switch to another state.
How I can update my will?
There are two ways to update your will. You may revoke your current will and run a new one or you can execute a codicil on your existing will. Generally, if you are making small adjustments to your will, then a codicil, or amendment, is a way to update your will cost efficiently and legally enforceable. For example, if you have a vacation home now you want to leave, then you can do so by executing a codicil on your current will. A codicil must be executed in the same manner in which a will is executed in your State.
If you are making major changes to his will, as to include or exclude a person or significantly change the placement of your property, then want to revoke and execute a new one. An estate planning attorney can help you develop and execute a codicil or a new will that is appropriate for your individual situation.