Many people still procrastinate completing or updating their will. Drafting and executing a will can guarantee, if done correctly, that your final requests are carried out accordingly. This, however, is only the first step. It is crucial to update your will periodically. The most important time to do this is after a significant life change is experienced, such as a health scare, loss of a very close relative, involvement in a major car accident, or victim of a wrongful death. It will be important that once you complete your will, you modify it as needed. Help from a probate law attorney can assist with the drafting and updating of your will as necessary. Our friends at Cohen & Cohen have provided steps of what to do when creating or updating your will if you are involved in a life changing experience.
Why Should I Have a Will?
Unfortunately, many people pass away or become extremely paralyzed o incapacitted without a legal will in place. Making sure that you have a current will is vital to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Having a will in place will put your mind at ease knowing that your belongings will be distributed accordingly and final wishes executed in the manner you desire.
Updating Your Will
It is important to update your will for a number of reasons. You will want to make sure that you do this as soon as possible, especially in the event that you unexpectedly fall victim to a tragic accident. There are various reasons to update your will that include, but not limited to:
- Being recently diagnosed with a serious illness
- Experienced a change in your relationship status. If you have divorced or separated from your partner, you will want to make sure that they do not stand to inherit any of your assets.
- A spouse has passed away. It will be important that your will assigns a new beneficiary or beneficiaries. Failure to do so could put you at risk of passing away with the court having to make these decisions without knowing the people involved.
- Appointing a guardian to assume care of your children in the event that you pass.
- Changes in your financial situation. This should include any inheritances or investments.
A rule of thumb that a properly executed will should keep your assets and estate out of probate. Probate is the system that is set up for estates without a properly executed will intact. If there is not a will, then your estate needs to go through the probate procedure. A will may still find its way into probate courts due to will contentment or other valid reasons; however, it can be used as a road map for the courts to review and determine your final wishes.
A life changing experience should be an indicator to move forward with creating a will. It works as an eye-opener that can possibly push you to coming to terms with your mortality. Wrongful death lawyers can assist with your needs pertaining to wrongful death or personal injury. They can also advise you on what other matters need to be taken care of in your life after this experience. These lawyers should be able to point you in the right direction and towards other competent professionals to assist with other legal matters such as probate and estate planning.