Wills: The Reason and Ways to Alter Your Will
Life is ever changing. Your location, lifestyle, and relationships may constantly be changing. It is important to keep your will up to date so you can share your legacy with those closest to you. However, though many people may mean to change their will accordingly to their situations, they may not always get around to it as much as they’d wish. Altering your will appropriately in accordance with your life changes will ensure that you pass on what you wish to whom to wish. Knowing when and how to change your will is the first step to ensuring such goal.
When to Alter Your Will
This question is answered best by yourself. Did your life withstand a significant change? Have your relationships with people shifted, whether you became closer or more distant from someone? Have there been additions to the family? These are personal questions you can decide on your own. Of course, a lawyer can help organize the will for you, but it is ultimately your decision as to who receives what of your belongings. So, if something has occurred in your life that you feel would have an influence on the content of your will, do your best not to delay making the appropriate adjustments.
How to Alter Your Will
If you have an existing will, there are a couple different things you can do with it. First is called a codicil. A codicil is a process of altering your will through amendments. The will cannot be revised or redacted. The way to change it is through codicil which simply adds on to the will, effectively overriding parallel concessions. Codicils work well for minor adjustments.
However, if it is big changes you seek, codicils are no longer the preferable approach. Today, wills are easily revoked and rewritten because they are electronically written and recorded. Thus, a lawyer may recommend you revoke the existing will altogether and replace it with a new one. There are benefits to avoiding codicil and opting to revoke and replace a will.
For example, when using a codicil, if someone was originally granted $50,000 but a codicil made it so they were only given $25,000, they would be aware of the change. Seeing this would create conflict and unneeded issues with the will. Alternatively, by revoking the original will and writing a new one, nobody will see how your wishes has changed and a conflict similar to that described above will be avoided. Thus, it is recommended to execute a new will rather than amending the existing one.
Starting a New Will
Writing a new will is now as easy as amending a pre-existing one. There is nothing wrong with writing a new will as it is just as effective and binding as an original will. To best reflect your wishes, a new will avoids conflict and misinterpretation by your survivors. Be sure to have two witnesses present when signing your new will. Additionally, when the new will becomes active, it is recommended to destroy any traces of the old will, or else the same issues may arise as those that come from amending an original will. To best shape your new will, work alongside an estate planning attorney to make sure you are doing it correctly. Avoid trying to enact a will on your own, even if it seems easier through an online kit. These kits may help you create a document but seem lead to litigation as people challenge the validity, resulting in great costs to correcting any issues. A will should not be mostly correct, but completely correct. This is best ensured by a competent attorney.
If you see your life go through major changes, your will should change accordingly. If minor adjustments are needed, perhaps a codicil is appropriate. However, if you seek substantial adjustments, use an attorney and draft a replacement will 100% to your liking.