Is it Time to Make a Change?

Whether due to unsettling financial crisis or a “blessed event” in your family, it may be time to change your will.  How long has it been since you reviewed your will?  There’s no time like the present to find your will and review your decisions and circumstances related to your final wishes.

You can change or update a will at any time.  An amendment to the will is referred to as a codicil.  I recommend you consult an attorney when you change a will as some changes are considered minor, and some may require a completely new will.

Here are some reasons for updating a will:

  • The family changes due to a birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, or death.
  • Major changes occur in the amount of property owned.
  • Tax laws change (federal and state).
  • Residence changes from one state to another.
  • The executor or guardian can no longer serve.
  • You decide – for any reason – to change the distribution of your property.

Remember, you must be careful to match the beneficiaries in your will to your other financial assets as well.  

Two more important reminders:

  1. Keep the  original will in a safe place such as a fireproof lock box or a bank safe deposit box.
  2. Make sure the family knows where the will is kept.  I recommend that all members of the immediate family know where the will is kept, as a precaution.  The executor should have a copy of the will, or know where it is kept and have a key to access the will immediately, if needed. 

If you have taken my advice and created a master list of your valuable possessions, their estimated or appraised value, and who you have chosen to receive each item, keep that master list with the original will.  Be sure that the executor and the immediate family have a copy of the list.

© 2010 Julie Hall

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