When Does My Will Need to Be Updated?

Estate Planning Lawyer Phoenix, AZ

When an unmarried twenty-something with no children writes his or her first will, it is often the case that the will in question primarily concerns matters related to sentimental property. Perhaps the young adult chooses to leave a few personal items to friends, a few personal items to family and directs his or her will executor to leave the remainder of the estate to the will creator’s parents. Over time, the twenty-something marries. Has children. Acquires valuable property and even more sentimental property. At each of these major turning points, the will creator needs to update the original will accordingly. Otherwise, if the will creator passes away before any changes have been made, his or her spouse and children will have to endure the challenges associated with probate.

In general, it is important to update your will every time a major familial, financial or other fundamental change occurs in your life. When you acquire new family members or any of your beneficiaries die, it is important to update your will. If you acquire new significant property (valuable and/or sentimental) it is also important to update your will, otherwise a judge will decide who will ultimately assume ownership of it after you pass away. A will’s primary function is to communicate your wishes in re: your property in the event of your death. If you do not update your will as your preferences and situation evolves, you run a serious risk that your wishes will not be respected in the end.

Thinking About Updating Your Will?

If you are thinking about updating your will, you likely need to take this step. If any of your circumstances or preferences have changed in ways that warrant an update, don’t wait to speak with an attorney. Updating a will generally takes very little time and effort, unless you ultimately choose to completely revoke your will and draft another from scratch. Periodic updates are fairly straightforward, as you generally only need to tell your attorney about what terms need to be altered and need to sign any formal updates as instructed by your attorney. Failure to take this relatively easy step whenever necessary could lead to sincerely negative consequences for your loved ones down the road.

Estate Planning Assistance Is Available

If you have questions about estate planning generally or drafting and updating a will specifically, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney at your earliest convenience. Estate plans are meant to function as living legal resources. Practically speaking, this means that they are meant to reflect the ever-evolving priorities of the estate holder and therefore may generally be updated as often as they need to be.

If you are ever in doubt about whether a specific life event warrants updating your will specifically or your estate plan more broadly, please consider connecting with an experienced estate planning lawyer Phoenix, Arizona offers at Kamper Estrada, LLP. Lawyers who specialize in this area of law are usually more than happy to answer questions and assist with updates whenever they are requested.