One of the greatest mistakes people make after writing a will or estate plan is failing to update the document. The excerpt below discusses when and why you should update the terms of your will and estate plan.
Changing Financial Conditions
Have you bought a new house or sold off some investment shares? Updating your will helps prevent conflicts and confusion among your beneficiaries. Divorce and separation can significantly impact your finances. For instance, you may have split some of your property and cash. Although you may want your children to inherit your wealth, you may no longer wish your spouse to execute your estate or act as a trustee.
Changing family conditions may compel you to change your will. For instance, if you have a new child, you would want him or her to benefit from your wealth. You may also wish to disinherit some of your beneficiaries. Alternatively, you may want to change the terms of inheritance. For example, take a situation where a beneficiary gets admitted to rehabilitation and cannot manage his or her inheritance if you died. In such cases, you could opt to put the inheritance in a trust.
Trustee and Executor Abilities
You could also update your will if you think that the trustees and executors can no longer perform the assigned tasks. The law does not require executors and beneficiaries to be your immediate family members. As such, you may opt to appoint friends or a lawyer to serve in these capacities. The lawyer that prepared your will and estate plan should not serve as executor or trustee. It helps prevent conflict of interest.
Change of Residence
You will need to change your will if you move to another country. Some countries do not accept foreign wills. Others accept them only if they meet the set minimum conditions. Minor details such as the number of witnesses, numbering of the will and supporting documents may nullify your document.
There are two ways to change your will. Minor changes can be rectified using a codicil. As a rule, the codicil should not contradict the original will. Alternatively, you could dispose of your old will and write a new one. Keep the document safe to ensure your family can access it once you die.
Updating your will not only prevent family disputes but will also ensure your estate is divided according to your wishes. Work with estate planning services to ensure the will is legal.