Posted By Irene C. Olszewski, Esq. on April 4, 2012
Assuming you already have a valid Last Will and Testament, when should you update the document? If you have a Will, read on. If not, call your lawyer and have one drafted.
In general, your Will should be updated if you marry or divorce. Your present Will may not reflect your intentions accurately. For example, while you are married, you likely want your estate to pass to your spouse if you die first. You are also likely to want your spouse to oversee bequests you leave to your children. After a divorce, the opposite is usually true.
If one of the beneficiaries named under your Will dies, you should review it to determine if you planned for that event under the terms of your Will. Likewise, if you give birth to — or adopt — a child, it’s important to update your Will to include provisions for that child.
When your assets change — such as winning the lottery or receiving an inheritance — you should have your attorney revise your Will to reflect those newly acquired assets. If you have minor children, this is critically important if you want to control how that money will be used for their benefit after your death.
There are other circumstances under which you should consider updating your Will. When in doubt, consult a licensed attorney.
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copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski