When to Review Your Will

Whether you are a millionaire or the average Joe, it is important to ensure your legacy will be divided as you desire. With this in mind you should make sure you have a proper will drafted and signed and on file with your attorney while you are still of sound mind and body, which keeps your final wishes less contestable. Life is full of changes and, as a result, your will may be also. What changes are necessary to keep updated in your will? Here are five instances when you should review and update your will as necessary.


  • Marriage


Marriage may seem like an obvious time to either create or update your will. However, this does not refer simply to your marriage. Marriage includes the marriage of your child or grandchild, or any other beneficiaries, such as a sibling or even friend that you have included in your will. When dealing with the marriage of a child or grandchild, you will likely want to include their new spouse at least in name.


  • Divorce


Just like marriage, divorce is an optimal time to create or update your will. Of course, your divorce would require a drastic change in your will, but the divorce of your children or heirs may lead to changes in your will to now exclude heirs that you previously wanted to have a piece of your legacy. They may not be total exclusions, or any exclusion at all, but it is important to double check your will to ensure it is as you would like it after a divorce.


  • Birth


When a child is born into your family, you will likely want to add that child to your will. You cannot assume that your heirs will know the extent to include that new child when dividing assets, and it is always best to leave as little as possible up for interpretation in your will.


  • Death


A death in the family is hard enough the first time it occurs. Asking your heirs to relive the death again at your time of death because you included the pre-deceased in your will isn’t the most pleasant of situations. Reviewing and changing a will after the death of a beneficiary affords yourself the opportunity to redistribute your effects as you see fit, as opposed to asking your beneficiaries to guess how you would like them redistributed.


  • From Birth / Death of a Business to Start / End of a Business


Many people forget about this aspect when it comes time to review their will. A business that was built from your own sweat and tears will likely have a succession plan, whether it be selling your half to your partner and distributing the proceeds to the family or passing it on to your oldest child. Whatever your succession plan, the details need to be stipulated clearly in your will. In addition, if your business fails or is sold before your death, this needs to be properly accounted for in your will. If there is no business at the time of probate, the court may be forced to track down the new business owners or the documents proving the business is closed in order to move forward with probating the will.

If you are faced with any of these circumstances or are in need of a will, contact the attorneys at WL Brown law office at (612) 309-9184 and they will be happy to help.

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