Writing a Will: Should You Start Over?

It is very important to keep your will up to date at all times. When you can keep your will up to debt, you can trust that if you pass on all of your assets will go to the beneficiaries that you recently designated and you won't have to worry about disappointing your loved ones by leaving them to battle for your assets in court during probate. It is important to always keep your will up to date, but there may be situations where the change is so drastic, that it is better to just start over again. If you write a new will, your old will automatically be considered void.

It may be best to recreate a new will if you have a change in marital status. If you get married, you and your spouse may want to designate each other as the beneficiaries in the will. If you get divorced, then you may also want to revoke gifts left to an ex-spouse, and will want to revise the will so that you do not leave assets to him or her at your passing.

You may also want to start over with your will if you discover a change in financial circumstances. For example, if one of your investments has a dramatic return, and it has been years since you created a will, you may want to start over again with a brand new will which will help you to account for all the new finances. You can also do this if you have recently purchased or sold a home, and now have a change in financial status that will greatly affect your will.

Also, if you become a parent or a stepparent, chances are that this will have a dramatic change on how you divvy up your finances at death. You may want to include the appointment of a guardian should anything happen to you, or may want to explicitly mention stepchildren in your will, since some states don't allow stepchildren to automatically inherit.

If you write a new will, it is best to revoke your old will. You will want to talk to an attorney in the state for more information about revoking wills and how it is done in your state. In some states, you will need to include a clause that you have created a new will that revokes this will. In other states, a new version of a will that contradicts the intentions of the older will is enough. In some cases, if an older will is improperly destroyed, the court may continue to act as if the old will is still in effect. You will want to talk with a local estate planning lawyer for more information. Call today!