How Often Should I Look At/Update My Last Will and Testament?
February 17th, 2021
After you complete your estate planning, you may be under the impression that there is nothing left to do. You may think that the Will you created is going to be perfect for the rest of your life. While an older Will should hold up in court, it is likely over the years your assets and goals change. It is possible you have had more children or grandchildren added to the family, you might have had a falling out with a friend that you named in your Will, or someone that you named as a legatee has passed away. The best way to make sure you do things the right way, speak to a Maryland Wills and Estates Lawyer.
These scenarios are common which is why it is important to review your Will every few years. Perhaps you bought another home, got a new car, or obtained an asset you would like to specifically include in your Will. An experienced attorney can easily make simple changes to your Will. If it has been over five years since you last reviewed your Will, we suggest that you do so immediately in case any changes need to be made.
It is also possible that in the time since you first executed your Will that you moved to a new state or changed marital status. When you move to a new state, your existing Will from your old state of residence is often honored, but there may be different laws or regulations that should be taken into consideration and a new Will would be advisable. If you were married at the time of creating your Will it is likely that you named your spouse as your primary heir. If you have since then gotten a divorce, you might want to ensure that your ex-spouse is taken out of the Will. Likewise, if you are now married, you want to make sure that your spouse is protected.
Family relationships can be complicated, and as time goes on people drift apart and situations change. It is important to make sure that your new situation and goals are properly expressed in your estate planning documents.
The possibilities that can happen which make you want to change your Will are endless. Often, when a Will is executed, it is put in a safe place and never touched again. It is recommended to review your Will and estate planning documents every few years to ensure they continue to meet your needs and goals.
Changes to the law in your state may also be a reason for changing your Will. While changes in probate law are rare, they do happen. By staying up to date, you are protecting your family from a problematic estate administration (probate) process.
Remember, the purpose of a Last Will and Testament is to ensure that your legacy goals are met and that your heirs are protected. If you have not reviewed your estate planning documents lately, contact us for an appointment.