A will is something that anyone with any amount of assets should have, regardless of their age. Without a will in place, it’s left to the courts to try and decide who should get what. This is a scenario that can play out entirely against your wishes, and since you’re not around anymore, there’s nothing that can be done about it.
So make sure you have a will in place.
Just as important, make sure that will is up-to-date. An out of date will can be almost as bad as no will at all, depending on how circumstances change in your life. In fact, an irrelevant, outdated will could be thrown out or manipulated.
Can a Will Become Invalid Over Time?
Technically, yes. If the terms of the will no longer apply to the present-day situation, your will is invalid. Let’s say you left assets to your husband, but then he passes away before you do. If you never change your will, those terms are invalidated.
Alternatively, your wishes could change. Let’s say you create a will when you get married. Years go by, and you divorce, only to remarry a year or two after that. If you don’t change your will, it will be your ex that receives your assets, rather than your current spouse.
Another scenario could include acquiring new assets not stated in a previously set will. When you die, the will covers those original claims, but it may not apply to your new assets, leaving them in the hands of the courts.
When to Update Your Will
Knowing when to update your will isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Basically, if you experience a major life change, you should update your will. Getting married? Update your will. Getting divorced? Update your will. Having a child? You get the idea.
Even if it’s a case of your financial standing changing, it’s important to direct where new assets go. The last thing you want is for the people you care about to be unable to attain assets left behind for them.
Or worse, family members end up fighting each other for what they believe is their fair share.
Make sure your will represents where you’re currently at in your life and who you’re wanting to leave your possessions to. When you’re gone, your will is set in stone.
Get your will in order now by meeting with an attorney experienced in estate and probate work. For an experienced Springfield attorney, contact the offices of Michael T. Edwards today.