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For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

When should you update your will?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Estate plans, like life, aren’t exactly static. Even after you create your will, you may need to update it regularly to make sure that it reflects your current situation and wishes.

Here is when to update your will:

Changes in assets

If you sell an asset listed in your estate plan or acquire a new one, you should make the respective change. If your will goes to probate with possessions you no longer own, the court will ignore them, but the loved ones you had designated to inherit them won’t receive anything. On the other hand, not including a new asset in your will and determining how it should be distributed can lead to conflicts.  

A new child or grandchild

When you have a new child or grandchild by birth or adoption, you should include them in your will. Add their names among your beneficiaries and establish the assets they will inherit. It’s also vital to do this when you have new stepchildren and step-grandchildren.

Disinheriting someone

You may want to disinherit a beneficiary, perhaps due to a change in your relationship. If that’s so, it’s important to make sure that you clearly exclude them from your will, since merely leaving their name out of the most recent one can look like it was unintentional.

A named party dies

If a beneficiary or a named party, such as the executor or the guardian you’ve chosen for your child, dies, you should update your will. Naming alternates or putting in provisions that account for the possibility of an heir’s death is also a good way to handle this issue.

If it’s been a while since you updated your will, it may be wise to seek some experienced legal guidance to make sure that your goals are achieved.