Ideally, your will is a document that will best reflect your wishes for your estate and property as best as possible at the time of your passing. The catch is that none of us know the moment in time that we will pass away. If we did, we would probably plan to come up with a will much closer to the time we would pass away. In any case, we create our wheels based on changes in our lifestyles. Otherwise, we may not update our wheels at all.
It can be challenging to convince other people of the need even to have a will. There is something about creating a highly unpleasant choice that goes beyond having to consider your death. For instance, creating a will is thought to be expensive, time-consuming, tedious, and unnecessary in many cases. Even if making a will were all these things, it is still necessary to choose. This is true whether or not you own much property or are an older person.
Whether we're talking about drafting a will for the first time, updating a choice for the first time, are making yet another change to your will, the reality of your situation is that the facts of your case are more important than any general advice that you can receive on a blog post. For that reason, you should speak to one of the experienced probate and estate planning attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. We can help you when it comes to drafting a will or updating a choice. We will sit down with you and talk to you about your specific circumstances and help you to create an estate plan that will suit you and your family in the best possible way. There is no such thing as one size fits all-wheel or one size fits all estate plan. Before you make any changes to will speak with one of our experienced estate planning and probate attorneys.
Updating a will
The best thing that I can say regarding this entire question is that it is a great thing to have a will in the first place. Above all else, you need to understand that, unfortunately, simply having a choice places you in the minority of people. Most Americans, no matter their age, do not have a will. Therefore, you're asking what to do with the revision of your choice shows that you are thinking about your future and being careful with your planning. This is more than most people are willing to do Ann is a good thing above all else.
Another great sign by you're asking this question is that a will does need to be updated periodically to reflect changes in your life and the lives of those around you. For example, you could give birth to a child and add that child to your will. Or, an adult child could undergo changes that leave you wanting to have them be excluded from your choice for various reasons. Therefore an update to your will would be necessary. For these and many other reasons, an occasional update to your will is essential whether or not you have to make a change depending on whether or not changes to your life have been seen.
Without the required updates on your wall, you will do not serve its purpose. Remember that a will can only serve its purpose if it inaccurately reflects every facet of your life in terms of beneficiaries as well as creating a proper estate plan based on your most up-to-date wishes. A will that reflected your life at 25 likely does not hold water for your life at 45. So, as your life changes and evolves, you should periodically reflect on the will and determine if it still suits your needs as best as possible. If it doesn't, you should seek to update the will as many times as possible or as necessary.
What is the sort of significant life changes that may require an update to your will?
Of the most apparent life changes are those that involve your family. Getting married, having children, or getting a divorce requires you to update or change your will. Additionally, you may have had beneficiaries, or even the executor of your estate passes away. In that case, you should consider What changes need to be made to your will and make those as quickly as possible. There is no guarantee that you will have an opportunity to do so at a later date. Again, this is one of the comfortable truths about updating your will. We don't know when our last moments update the will or going to be she should take advantage of the time allotted to you and make those changes when the opportunity presents itself.
At some point, after drafting your initial will, you will either come to own more or fewer assets. This is how life works. You may have prepared your initial choice as a young person when we were starting your career. After that work took off, you gained a great deal of income and therefore your but both assets that you own increased dramatically. Or, you may have seen your income decrease dramatically, and as a result, you may have sold a number of your assets to pay your mortgage or pay other bills. So the property you listed explicitly in your original will no longer exist, and therefore it will need to be updated as a result.
The last thing you want is to have a drafted will that does not reflect the accuracy of your life in terms of the property you own. We see this happened with some regularity where an executor of your estate is supposed to use particular assets to pay bills or distribute specific assets to certain family members and viewers. When he no longer owns those assets or owns additional assets that are not accounted for in the will, then your executor is in the wrong position because they cannot accurately follow along with your wishes in the will itself.
One of the pieces of advice that attorneys with our office will provide to our family law clients is to perform an inventory of your home before the beginning of the divorce. We recommend walking through the house with your cell phone camera and taking photos or videos of each room. This way, you will tell what property you own and can begin to inventory and appraise each space. This is a great benefit because many people do not get an accurate rundown of their assets before creating their will. Having a firm idea of the property that she owned before making it will put you in a strong position in terms of ensuring the accuracy of the document you are creating and speaking to your family about the will before your passing.
As a side note, I recommend speaking to your family about the will well before the time you believe will be near your date of passing. When you are of sound fine, you can talk to your family about the will and what is included in the period we've all seen the movie where they will is red to a surprise family after the loved one has passed away. Typically it features a scene where a surprise occurs in the distribution phase of the case. Either someone is left out, or someone is inserted that comes as quite a surprise to the family. Rather than doing this to your family, talk to them before your passing so that they understand and will not be surprised at any event when it comes time to distribute assets.
The following important scenario where you may want to consider updating your will is if you decide to move two or from Texas. We have seen a large number of people move to our state since the beginning of the pandemic. There are several reasons for this, but the reality is that each country has different laws about estate planning and probate matters. What this means for you and me is that if we created wills in other states, we need to update them when we move out of state or into Texas. If you do not edit your choice, you are old and will have no impact or efficacy in this state.
At the very least, you should check with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys to determine if your old will would work for your purposes while in Texas. It may be that the senior intention is simple enough and your old state's estate planning laws conform to Texas is to a sufficient degree where you will not need to be updated. However, you should not assume that this is the case, and you absolutely should check with an attorney rather than operating under that assumption. The difference is that the estate planning laws in Texas and other states can be dramatic period don't allow your family to be caught in the middle of this had to be left with more questions and answers at the time of your passing.
One of the best reasons to change or update your will is to change your mind regarding some aspect of your case. For example, I have worked with clients who have updated their wills to reflect a change of heart regarding a child left out of a previous version of the choice. It could be that this child was making bad decisions. Still, you disagreed with, and your concern was that leaving them a number of your assets could end up harming their well-being both in the short and long term period; as a result, you made the difficult decision to leave them out of that version of we'll.
Some years have passed, and they have changed their lives and have committed themselves to make better decisions. This result is that you have decided to allow them to be re-entered into your will as a beneficiary. With this being your new state of mind, you are more likely to need an update as a result. The last thing you would want is to leave them out of your will after they put forth the effort to change their lives partly because of the motivation you provided them. Meeting with an experienced state planning attorney is probably the best way to do this.
Updating your will means thinking through your options and making decisions that are best for your family.
If it's one thing that we know about life, it is unpredictable in terms of the changes you may experience. While we don't know what those changes are, the one sure thing is that changes will come. It would help if you were prepared to address those changes in important planning documents such as a will. Sometimes the most challenging step in the process is simply getting around to creating a choice in the first place. Otherwise, it is not so difficult to update the will. You need to set aside the time to think it through, contact an attorney to help, and learn your options.
Another important consideration is that Texas frequently has updated two of its laws on probate and estate planning matters. The will that you created some years ago may still reflect your wishes and your situation as far as your family is concerned but may no longer be in step with the laws of our state on probate-related matters. As a result, you have a will that is deficient when it comes to state law. With that being said, it will be wise to update your choice to reflect changes in the law so that nothing in your will is out of step or not covered when you pass away.
Considering an updated tier will mean that you need to put a plan into place for a document to be drafted which is more reflective of your current situation. The benefit of consulting with an experienced probate and estate planning attorney is that you have their expertise to fall back on both in terms of problem-solving and solution creation. You may have a tricky situation involving your family or a particular asset that you cannot find a solution to. An experienced estate planning attorney will tell you what solutions may be available to you and can help you choose the one that works best for you and your family.
The last thing I will mention in today's blog post is that working with an attorney when you need to update a will undoubtedly is a better option than updating your will using a website. While it is certainly easier to jump on the Internet and go to a will-building website, the potential costs can be significant, as well. I mentioned to you a moment ago how making sure that your will reflects the current laws of Texas is incredibly important.
To that end, I have seen many will-building websites not have up-to-date laws in place regarding several issues related to probate. The legislature in Texas meets every two years and can therefore update laws just as frequently. Additionally, probate courts issue decisions, and appellate courts rule on them even more regularly. So, you have several different areas of the law to be considered when drafting a will. These will build websites that are not as attentive to these changes as an attorney would be.
Meeting with an attorney does not commit you to hiring that lawyer. All meeting with an attorney does is allow you to get a feel for that lawyer and how they operate in terms of their practice and their methods of helping you plan your state. It is nice to be able to talk to someone about your situation and receive feedback. Additionally, you can listen to the attorney and determine if you feel comfortable with them helping you in advising you. For the time commitment that you will need to undertake, talking with an attorney can pay huge dividends both for you and, more importantly, for your family.
Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed probate and estate planning attorneys can offer you a free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are an excellent way for you to learn more about the world of estate planning and how the filing of a probate case or the need to draft a will can impact you and your family both in the short and long terms.