Wills need revising when major life changes occur

Most Missouri residents know they will eventually need a will, but some may not realize these documents need to be updated as circumstances of their lives change. Not updating a will after a major life change means that assets may not be distributed according to the testator’s latest wishes.

Major life changes include getting married, having children, getting a divorce and perhaps remarrying someone else, moving to another state or the death of a spouse or other beneficiary. For example, if a man gets divorced but doesn’t take his ex-wife off the will, she would still be entitled to his assets if the will was not changed. Parents may also want to change their wills to make provision for care of any newborn children should they die before the children come of age. A will also may need to be revised if a person moves to another state, as will and probate laws often vary in some respect from state to state.

Along with a will, people may also want to draw up a living will and a durable power of attorney. Both documents outline a person’s wishes for their care should they become permanently incapacitated.

A will is a legal document that that provides for the distribution of a person’s assets after their death. The more assets a person has, the more need there may be for wills and other estate planning documents. Wills can be simple or complex, but in either case should be periodically reviewed by an attorney who has experience in estate planning matters to ensure both their validity and their reflection of the current objectives and wishes of the makers.

Source: Kiplinger , “Good Reasons to Change Your Will“, December 30, 2014

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