When Should You Make Changes to Your Will?Sunday, June 30th, 2019, 9:01 am
Changing your will isn’t something you should do lightly, but it is something that you may need to do on occasion. It’s important that you keep your will updated—if you don’t, parts of your estate may become tied up in probate court for months. It’s also possible someone could challenge your will if it appears outdated or incorrect. However, you don’t need to update your will constantly. Here are a few of the times when you certainly do want to change this document.
You Get Married or Divorced
If you get married, you want to be sure your spouse is included in your will. In most states, simply getting married is enough to provide your spouse with the right to inherit your estate, you may want to have your estate split in certain ways. When getting divorced, you may want to remove your ex from your will. This is also a good time to leave specific instructions pertaining to your children, too, especially if you have children from a previous and your current marriages.
You’ve Purchased Real Estate
If you’ve made a major real estate purchase, you need to update your will to include that purchase. Otherwise, it will go to probate if you’re not married or if the property is only in your name. Selling real estate isn’t as important—if you no longer hold the title to the property, any instructions regarding it will be disregarded.
You Purchase or Inherit Valuables
If you’ve purchased or inherited something incredibly valuable such as jewelry, artwork, or a collection, you may want to ensure that the correct person receives these items when you pass. This is a good time to update your will, especially if you have inherited family heirlooms that you want to make certain are passed to specific children or grandchildren.
Don’t Make Changes in Anger
If you’ve had a falling out with someone who is in your will, don’t immediately change the document and cut them out of it. People often do this out of anger only to reconcile with their loved one and change their will back a few months later. Take the time to let tempers cool and to reflect on the situation. If you do and still feel that the relationship is irreparably damaged, then change your will.
Need assistance with creating or updating a will? Contact the law offices of Michael F. Kanzer & Associates today.