It is very important to make sure your will is kept updated. Life changes frequently, which can affect who you choose to have as your heirs and beneficiaries. If you are not updating your will as life events change, it may not accurately reflect your wishes in your new circumstances. The following situations are events in which it may be wise to discuss updating your will with a will lawyer Roseville, CA trusts:
Marriage: After you get married, you and your new spouse should create new wills. It is common in many states for there to be laws which give a percentage of your estate to your surviving spouse at your death, if you have not created a will. However, if you want your spouse to receive more or less than the state will provide them, you will need to create a will to state that. Additionally, putting your new spouse on your will could change the percentage of an asset or of your whole estate that someone else was originally written to receive. You should adjust your will to reflect the percentages you wish for each beneficiary to receive.
Divorce: While some states automatically revoke any property or assets left to your spouse once you become divorced, others do not. To ensure your property and assets are left to the correct people, you need to update your will upon divorce. You will need to update your will to state if you want to leave anything to your former spouse or what the distribution of your property will now be.
Having a Baby: In many states, once you have a child, they will be given part of your property when you die. However, if you do not want your property to be divided according to state laws, you will need to update your will. If you have a new baby, you will need to change your will to include what gifts your new baby will receive. Most importantly, if you have a new baby, you will need to state in your will who will become your child’s guardian if anything should happen to you.
New Stepchildren: Unless you legally adopt step children, they are not automatically entitled to receive any of your property when you die. If you would like your stepchildren to inherit your assets, you will need to revise your will to include them.
Changing Beneficiaries: Sometimes things happen in life that change the way you feel about how you’d like your property to be divided after you die. It is important to update your will to reflect your new wishes.
Moving out of State: States have different laws pertaining to what each spouse owns. States can be either a common law property state or a community property state, so it is important to know what your current state is versus the state you will be moving to. If your new state is different than what your current state is, you will need to adjust your will to reflect your new property ownership status.
How to Change a Will
The easiest way to change your will is to create a new will and state that you are revoking any previous wills. If you are wanting to add something to your will or make a simple change, all you will need to do is add a codicil, also known as an amendment, to your will.
Thank you to our friend and contributors at Yee Law Group Inc. for their insight into wills and estate planning.