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Why updating your will is important

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2019 | estate planning

Life does not stand still after you have drafted your last will and testament. There are many life-changing events that can happen to an Illinois resident, from divorces to remarriages, to births of new children and grandchildren, to the deaths of loved ones. So if you have composed a will, here are some common reasons why you may need to revise it now or in the future.

Forbes explains that if you move to another state, you may have to update your will for that reason alone. Every state has its own estate laws, and there are bound to be some subtle differences between the laws of the state where you made your will and in the new state you live in. For instance, if you recently moved to Illinois, you may need to consult with a legal professional to see if your current will complies with state laws that validate wills.

As mentioned previously, you may have undergone a divorce or added new family members since you drafted your will. So if you now have new children, stepchildren or grandchildren, you may desire to leave your new family members an inheritance. You will have to update your will to reflect these desires. If you have been divorced, you might decide your ex-spouse is no longer entitled to certain inheritances.

Tragically, in some cases an intended beneficiary passes away before that person can receive an inheritance. In such a case, a will needs to be updated since the deceased beneficiary can no longer inherit. You might choose to have another family member inherit whatever the deceased was originally promised. Also, some people decide to disinherit a living person because that individual has demonstrated that he or she is not responsible with money or is estranged from the rest of the family.

In addition to family members, Forbes explains that some people want their favorite charities to receive money from them after they pass away. However, your favorite charity today might not be your favorite charity tomorrow or next year, which is why you may want to change your will to reflect your new wishes. You might also find new charities that you want to donate to.

Finally, some people decide they do not want to be burdened with too many possessions and decide to downsize. However, such downsizing may end up disposing of items that you may have already listed in a will. If so, you might have to list different items for your beneficiaries to inherit. Otherwise, your heirs will not inherit from you because you already disposed of the items listed on the will.