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When does someone make changes to a will?

| Dec 29, 2020 | Blog, Estate Planning |

Not every person takes steps to draw a will or take part in other estate planning steps. Failing to do so might rank among the most common estate planning steps to make since estate assets’ distribution then falls under Florida’s intestate laws. The result might not reflect the true preferences of the deceased. Estate planners may need to do more than craft a will to reflect personal wishes. Updating the will could be necessary, too.

Circumstances and decisions may change

Not updating a will could turn out to be an estate planning mistake. A person could write a will that then remains in a family law attorney’s possession for ten years. When originally written, the estate might have been worth far less, so the bulk of the assets went to a surviving spouse, with a third going to the children. A lot could change during the decade. The estate’s value could increase tremendously, and the surviving spouse may suffer mental and physical ailments.

Also, the surviving and increasingly ill spouse might be listed as executor. If the spouse proves incapable of the job, would the court appoint the decedent’s first choice as executor? A response to that question might be purely speculative.

Requesting to update a will

An attorney could make changes to a will upon request by creating a new will. The new will might lead to a drastic revision, or the new will might be 95% the same as the previous one. Regardless of how many changes occur, the new document replaces the previous one.

A testator might find it worthwhile to review a will periodically. Doing so may lead the testator to make changes at appropriate times.

Changing a will to address changing times and circumstances might be a necessary estate planning step. Performing changes could work to the benefit of the surviving heirs.

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