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Helping You Navigate Complex Legal Issues

Reasons to update a will

Gregory A. Lang

Some Minnesota residents who have drafted a will in the past may have filed it away without considering that certain life circumstances not only lend themselves to amending the legal document but in actuality warrant it. Major events in life, including marriages, births, deaths and divorces, should prompt a review of the will and, in some cases, elicit an entire rewrite.

The changes that come with middle age should trigger the review of a will. This is a time when an individual may have accumulated more assets and when new priorities, perhaps entailing new people, surface.

Both divorce and remarriage should also lead to the review of a will. Other aspects of estate planning may require immediate modification following a remarriage or divorce as well, including changing beneficiaries on insurance and retirement plans and altering powers of attorney.

New parents may want to revise a will to include their children, but they should keep in mind that they should also name guardians for their children in case of their own demise. Parents may also wish to use a will to create a trust for their children.

Marrying for the first time is another important milestone that should prompt changes to a will. An individual who wishes to leave the entire estate to a spouse must articulate this in a will. Furthermore, individuals who retire or move to a new state may look over their will to see if any changes are warranted.

Working with the language and laws pertaining to estate planning can be difficult for many people. An attorney might be valuable in that case, if only to ensure documents are in order and that they contain no critical mistakes or vital oversights that can wreak irreversible damage down the line.

Source: Kiplinger , "Good Reasons to Change Your Will", December 19, 2014

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