Many people understand the importance of having a will. However, some of them draw up the original will and then forget about it.
As individuals get older, there are life changes, and some of them warrant a review of the original will and possibly require a change. If the writer of the will does not make the changes, some unfortunate people may miss out while others receive assets that they no longer deserve.
Basics of writing a will
For those who have not written a will yet, according to U.S. News and World Report, there are some basic things to consider. One of the main purposes of a will is to transfer ownership of assets, so one of the first steps is to choose beneficiaries. It also helps to name an executor to manage the estate after the decedent’s death and follow the instructions laid out in the will. For those who have young children, a will is the place to name a guardian to care for them in the case of the death of both parents.
Reasons to change a will
According to FindLaw, major life events warrant a changing or updating of the will. Marriage and the birth of each child are perfect examples of when to update the will to add beneficiaries. Couples that live together but are not in a marriage should definitely make their wishes known in a will, as the automatic transfer of assets will not occur as it does in a marriage.
Divorce is an imperative time to change a will. If there is a blended marriage with kids from both spouses, it is a good idea to update the will if the stepchildren will receive anything. Other reasons to review a will include:
- Accumulation of new assets
- Disposal of assets
- Wish to change heirs
- Move to a common law property state from a community property one
With each change to the will, there will need to be new witness signatures, and the owner of the will needs to revoke the old one.