By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
December 5, 2015
9 Reasons That You Should Change Your Will
There are a number of reasons you may need to update your will. Typically, an alteration to your will is the result of a major change in your life. Sometimes, however, even small things may warrant a change in your will.
If you aren’t sure whether you should update your will due to change in your situation, you should consult with an estate planning attorney. Here are some common reasons why someone might want to modify their last will and testament.
- You have recently moved to another state. If you have moved since your last will was signed, you may need to make some modifications in order to ensure your will is valid. Validly executed out-of-state last will and testaments are valid in Florida. Because different states have different laws that govern whether a will is valid or not, it is good practice to consult an estate planning attorney from your new state in order to ensure your plan will be carried out properly.
- You have lost a family member. Sometimes, an unexpected death can have a dramatic effect on your previous plans. Particularly if your will does not contain contingent beneficiaries, the death of a beneficiary may require you to make alterations to your will.
- Your children have become adults. After children grow up, you may want to modify the terms of a guardianship arrangement in your will. Additionally, you may also want to modify the terms of a trust included in your will after your children reach adulthood.
- You become divorced, widowed or remarried. A change in your marital status will likely require a modification of your will. Though it may not be the first thing on your mind, you should change your will right away if you have undergone such a change. Doing so protects your estate for the sake of your heirs.
- You have a new grandchild. A new grandchild is a wonderful thing, and you may want to alter the terms of your will in order to provide for your new heir in the future. An estate planning attorney can help you include any new beneficiaries that were not around when you first wrote your will.
- Your estate has increased significantly. You may have crafted your will when you were in a different financial situation than you are in now. When your financial status or goals change, you should make sure that your will has been updated to reflect that.
- You have new philanthropic goals. If you have a particular organization, charity, or other entity that you would like to support with funds from your estate, modifying your will can ensure that you leave behind a powerful philanthropic legacy.
- Tax laws have changed. When any relevant tax laws change, you should make sure to update your will and estate plan. Consult with an estate planning attorney to learn more about how to effectively take advantage of any credits or deductions.
- Your personal representative’s situation has changed. You might have spoken to an individual previously about becoming your personal representative. But if this person has changed their mind, passed away, or is otherwise unable to perform the duties of a personal representative, you should appoint a new representative in your will right away.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose
YOU ARE NOT OUR CLIENT UNLESS WE EXECUTE A WRITTEN AGREEMENT TO THAT EFFECT. MOREOVER, THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. EACH SITUATION IS HIGHLY FACT SPECIFIC AND EXCEPTIONS OFTEN EXIST TO GENERAL RULES. DO NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION, AS A CONSULTATION TO UNDERSTAND THE FACTS AND THE CLIENT’S NEEDS AND GOALS IS NECESSARY. ULTIMATELY WE MUST BE RETAINED TO PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE AND REPRESENTATION. THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AS A COURTESY AND, ACCORDINGLY, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.