Experienced Florida Attorneys Helping with Changes to Wills
A will should be looked at as a living document – not permanent. As things change in your life, your will also needs to change. Even if you have just gone through the process of creating an estate plan, you need to constantly keep up-to-date with any changes. If you are not sure if it is time to update or adjust your estate plan, speak with your attorney. Certain life changes and milestones may constitute an adjustment – and you should never delay making these adjustments.
Changes in the Relationship
If your relationships with beneficiaries have changed and you no longer wish to list them as heirs to your estate, it is critical that you update your will. If you have not updated the will, those beneficiaries will still receive the inheritance, regardless of how you felt beforehand.
Changes to Assets
Sometimes,you acquire new assets, while other times you may sell an asset. Regardless, these changes in assets must be reflected on your estate plan. You will need to speak with an attorney to change your assets, and any remaining assets that are to be distributed.
A Divorce or New Child
After a divorce, it is imperative that you change your estate plan to remove your ex-spouse from your beneficiary list. Without doing so, the courts may honor the previous estate plan and award your estate to your ex.
Also, if you have had a child, you will need to update your estate plan immediately. Children can easily be left out of a will and if something were to happen, that new child would not be entitled to your estate.
As a rule of thumb, any time that you have an addition (or deletion) from your family, you should go through your list of beneficiaries, heirs, representatives, and guardians to make sure that everything checks out. You can go over that list with your attorney as well, to make sure it is up-to-date.
Most importantly, if you have had a child, you need to appoint a guardian in the event that something happens to you or your spouse. Without doing so, the courts would be forced to select a guardian for your minor children.
If you have relocated, your estate plan must be reassessed. There are different laws for every state, and the state where you originally executed your will may be different than the one that you have relocated to. Have your will reviewed to make sure it applies to your new state’s laws.
Review Your Will Annually or Bi-Annually
Even if you have not had any changes that you find significant, you should have your estate plan reviewed annually or bi-annually by your attorney. Your attorney can ask if anything has changed, go over the details of your will, and make sure it is relevant. You may be surprised at what things you want to change after reviewing your will – even 12 months later.
Speak with an Estate Planning Attorney
If you have had a significant life change or you are just due for your annual revisit, contact Beller & Bustamante, P.L. today for a consultation. We can help you draft a new will, update an existing will, and also review your estate plan annually to ensure your assets (and those of your loved ones) are protected. Schedule your appointment now by calling 904-288-4414 or requesting more information online.