What you should know about updating your will

On Behalf of | Dec 31, 2020 | Estate Planning

Writing a will is a necessary part of planning for your future. When you record your end-of-life wishes and finalize your estate plan, you can maintain control over the things that are most important to you.

Because you want your will to function according to your current life circumstances, you should maintain it and update it as needed.

Reasons to update your will

Significant changes in your life may alter your original plans or create the need to modify your will. According to U.S. News, some of the reasons to update your will include divorce and the birth of children. Making timely updates can reduce the disappointment of seeing your assets go to someone you thought you had removed from your life long ago.

For example, if you divorce, forgetting to remove your former spouse from your will could result in disaster when he or she still receives benefits. Problems such as this can lead to costly legal battles and disappointment for your surviving family members. Other reasons to update your will include adding to your family through adoption, remarrying, selling or purchasing real estate or moving out of state.

Legal considerations

Updating your will does not mean you change things and then file the will away. You must make them legal. This requires you to have all applicable documents notarized, as well as having two qualified witnesses sign them. Failure to meet either of these conditions could result in will contests when confusion prevents the seamless distribution of your assets.

Once complete, your updated will can serve your new plans rather than the old ones.