Keeping the terms of a will updated is not only common but is also a recommended estate planning practice. We go through many changes daily, some significant enough to affect our plans and aspirations. That being said, it is essential to update our wills to reflect our current wishes. Below are some of the common reasons why testators revise their wills.
Changes in available properties
It is usual for testators to add or remove properties in their wills, especially for those who made the estate planning too early on in life. Building a life includes building assets. And when an individual finds success, they may add more properties to their will.
On the other hand, properties are not always permanent in the hands of an owner. Whether because of a sale or lien, the testator may no longer be a property’s owner and would have to remove the same from the will.
Adding or removing beneficiaries
A testator can add or remove beneficiaries from the will. The modification can be for reasons such as a beneficiary’s death, the birth of a child, a divorce or simply because of a lost connection.
Replacing an unsuitable executor
The testator may also redesignate the executor if the original named executor is no longer available or suitable for the position.
Ensure the validity of the will changes
As simple as changing a term of the will may be, it is essential for a testator to meticulously review the changes and think about how the alteration can affect the estate administration in the future. Moreover, as a testator, you should be wary of the state’s requirements on will modifications. For instance, Maryland does not allow direct alterations to the original will. Rather, the testator must execute an additional document called a codicil. Having a legal expert review your documents can help you ensure the validity of your will and the modifications made.