If your Will was last updated when you died, you should probably do one more thing. It might be best to actually get the people who inherit your estate to figure out how you want your property divided up. This might mean contacting your heirs and getting them on board with what you want done with your assets and finances. Then it’s time to update your Will.
Many people in this day and age have no idea how their estates are developed or how to make sure they get compensated when they die. For this reason, probate law firms are seeing an increase in people contacting them about creating a Last Will and Testament. The purpose of a Will is to set up an estate plan in case someone who is owed money dies.
When should you update a will? If you are writing a Will yourself, you are pretty much charged free to do so, as long as you follow state laws. There are exceptions to this rule, such as in the case of executing a Will by a non-relative. In this case, you would need to get the help of a lawyer who specializes in probate, however.
If you hire someone to write and update your Will, they can put in new information as well as take out things that aren’t legal. For example, they may add a living trust into the Will if you already use one. This lets the person who receives your assets decide where they would like to invest the money if you pass away. A Will that has been updated is less prone to mistakes and probate concerns because the wording is more complete. Also, the beneficiaries won’t have to worry about any inheritance tax issues.
You can even ask for more recent updates on your own. There are services out there that can offer you more current information on your own. You simply have to fill out an application and the company will mail it to you. The cost isn’t much, but it can be expensive to request the updated documents, especially if you need them immediately.
What if you don’t die before updating a will? No one wants to think about death, but it’s always better to be prepared. In the case of updating a Will, you may simply choose to keep the contents current. This is true even if you are not yet deceased.
Can you access the contents of your Will after it has been updated? Yes. Most counties will allow you to view your own Will once it has been updated. Some may ask for a copy, while others don’t. Check with your county clerk’s office to see what the procedure is. The good news is that this process generally takes less than a day.
When should you update a will? The answer to that question is based on several factors. If you have significant concerns about how your Will may be used, then you may want to wait until you are deceased. Otherwise, updating a Will when you are alive could mean legal trouble for you or for your heirs. It’s really a personal decision.
What if you die before determining if your Will should be updated? Your last wishes are most likely going to be disregarded by those who obtain your assets. So, before you die, consider whether you want to have your last wishes acknowledged. If so, then you probably don’t need to bother with updating a Will. Otherwise, you could be required to give notice prior to the distribution of your assets. This could open up a lot of legal problems for those of us without lawyers.
When should you update a will if you are alive? The simplest answer to that question is: when you’re not dead! This statement is obviously the least controversial. However, you may face some difficult questions if you become very ill or otherwise unable to communicate your wishes clearly to future generations. Therefore, if you really want your last wishes to be observed, you may want to wait until you are physically no longer able to make such statements.
When should you update a will if you’ve already died? The answer varies from situation to situation. In some cases, it’s a simple matter of making sure that your last wishes are executed exactly as you want. Other times, you may have to seek a court’s help in order to get your wishes recognized. In this case, however, the process usually goes much more smoothly than if you simply attempt to update your Will on your own.