Reasons To Change Your Will

Here are some events that should nudge you towards making a new Will or writing a Codicil and reviewing beneficiary designations you have made in time past.

  • You get married. You and your new spouse should create a new Will or amend a previous Will when you get married.
  • You are unmarried, but have a new partner. Without a Will or alternate Estate Plan such as a Living Trust, your partner will inherit nothing. To avoid this, you and your partner should consider having at least Will.
  • You get divorced. In most instances, a final judgment of divorce (or a marriage annulment) will necessitate a change. So no matter where you live, you should make a new Will after a divorce or write a codicil.
  • You bring a new baby into the family. You should make a new Will to name a personal guardian for your little one. The guardian is the person you would want to raise your child(ren) in the unlikely event that both you and your spouse become unavailable.
  • You have new step children. Unless you legally adopt step children, they have no right to inherit from you, in most situations. However, if you want to leave them a share of your property, you should amend your Will specifically stating the distribution.
  • You acquire or dispose of substantial assets such as a home. If you leave all of your property to one or more people or organizations, there is no need to alter your Will. However, if you have made specific gifts of property that you no longer own, you will want to avoid leaving the intended beneficiaries out in the cold. Likewise, if you obtain new property and you want to leave it to someone specific, you will need to change your Will to make your wishes clear
  • You change your mind about who you want to inherit a significant portion of your property. If you decide to leave a share of your property to someone else, you will need to create a new Will or amend an existing one.
    Use Of Codicils
  • There are two ways to modify a Will. One is to add a ” codicil” to it.

    A codicil is a sort of legal” P.S.” to the Will revoking part of it or adding a provision such as a new gift of an item of property. Using codicils made sense in the era of typewriters because creating a brand new Will was a hassle. Today, the use of codicils is no longer the order of the day.

    Codicils can create confusion – sometimes even conflict – and they must be dated, signed, and witnessed just like a Will. Worthy of note is the fact that codicils should only be used for relatively minor matters.

    In recent times, it is easy to make a new Will. The new Will should however revoke all previous Wills and any codicil in order to avoid any ambiguity that may arise in the interpretation of your latest Will. It is also a good idea to gather all copies of your old Will and codicil (if any) and destroy them.

    Changing Other Estate Documents
    Do not forget that some of your property will probably pass outside the terms of your Will. For example, individual retirement accounts, joint or payable-on-death bank accounts, stocks registered with a transfer-on-death form, and life insurance proceeds go directly to the beneficiaries you have named.

    Your Will has no effect on them. If you have changed your mind about who you want to inherit these kinds of properties, you will need to change the documents in which you named the beneficiary.

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