A valid will can fulfill several purposes. A will directs the distribution of the signer's probate estate after the signer's death. It nominates fiduciaries, provides the fiduciary with the authority they need to act and it disposes of probate assets. The will nominates a Personal Representative who will guide the estate through the probate process.
Drafting a Last Will and Testament is not an enjoyable task for many of us. Once we draft a will, we tuck it away some where safe and forget about it. That’s not advisable. There are many reasons for you to pull out that Will and review it every three to five years.
Here are just a few reasons for you to make updates to what you once thought was ‘perfect.’
You had children and they are not listed in the existing will.
You need to name a guardian for your minor children or maybe you want to change the person you selected.
You got married.
You had minor children when you drafted the existing will and now they are grown with their own children.
Your assets greatly decreased.
The people you named in the will as beneficiaries are deceased.
You got divorced.
If you moved to a new state you need to make sure your will confirms with the requirements of your new state. Each state has its own legal requirements for drafting and executing a Last Will and Testament.
Your assets greatly increased.
Your spouse predeceases you.
You want different people to fulfill the roles necessary… personal representative, guardian, etc.
Never try to change a will by writing in the margins, crossing out words, lines, or sections of the original will. This only invites confusion, and is likely to lead to drawn-out conflicts over your will. Always seek out the advice of a local attorney. Sometimes you can just add a codicil to your Last Will and Testament. A codicil is a separate document that adds to or replaces one or more provisions in an existing will while leaving the rest of the will untouched and valid.
Have questions or concerns about your estate planning? Contact us to discuss further:
E.M. Curran & Associates LLC