A will is a vital estate planning document with instructions on how the executor or administrator should dispose of the assets owned by the departed. In other words, it contains the wishes of the deceased about who should get what in regards to the deceased's assets. However, there are instances when a person needs to amend their will. Read on for more insight.
Circumstances that call for the amendment of a will
One of the reasons why a person may need to amend their will is in the situation of a new marriage. After the wedding, the couple may wish to revise their respective wills and include their spouses as part of the will. Some states have laws that offer a certain share of the testator's possessions to the surviving spouse. Nevertheless, having a will in place allows the partner to provide more assets for his or her partner.
A person may also amend their will to provide for a romantic partner even though they are not married. Romantic partners who haven't wedded are not typically allowed a share of the testator's assets unless there's a will in place. Another important reason to amend a will is to cater for a new child. The will should be precise about what assets each child should get or whether all the children will receive an equal share of the estate.
In some cases, the testator may have a change of heart regarding the original beneficiaries listed in the will. Therefore, they can choose to change the will to reflect their current wishes on how they wish to transfer their assets.
Ways to amend a will
The testator may resort to creating a new will and add a clause inside that stipulates that he or she is annulling any previous wills. In effect, this option renders all previous wills as invalid and the new will as legitimate.
Another method to amend a will is through a codicil. This is basically a piece of alteration to your original will that chooses to uphold a significant portion of the provisions in the will while only making a few amendments to some clauses in the will. Similar to wills, codicils must adhere to specific guidelines such as being dated and signed in the presence of witnesses.
If you wish to revise your will, talk to a wills lawyer. The attorney can assess the required amendments and advise you on which suitable method to use to make those amendments.