3 Reasons to Review Your Will

3 Reasons to Review Your Will

When Joe K. passed away last year at age 52, his family began the process of probating his estate. They were glad he had left a Will. However, he prepared the Will when he was only 30 years old. Much had changed in the ensuing 22 years. Sally B. also left an estate plan for her family but had prepared it before she married several years ago. And Tony S.’s family and net worth have grown since he prepared his Will over 12 years ago. Situations like this happen all the time and provide at least three reasons for you to review your Will.

It’s been years since you took time to review your Will.

You may have heard that your estate plan should not be older than your car. However, that doesn’t work if you own a 1965 Shelby Mustang! Since people keep cars for various lengths of time, you might consider this target instead: an annual review.

Your estate planning goals may not have changed. On the other hand, you may realize that you want to distribute your assets a little differently. Maybe you will decide not to leave a lump sum inheritance to one of your heirs. This is also the time to pull your estate planning attorney in. Your lawyer will be far more up to date on laws that might affect your estate plan.

Review your Will if you have married or divorced.

Major life events typically trigger a review of your estate plan. It’s especially important to review your Will if you have been married or divorced since the Will was signed. Under Florida law, your spouse may still inherit – and your ex-spouse may become disqualified – but it’s best to memorialize these changes in writing.

You may need to change to a trust-based plan.

Estate plans may be Will-based or trust-based. As you and your estate planning attorney review your Will and your current life circumstances, it may become obvious that you need more than a Will.

Trusts offer excellent benefits in many situations:

  • If you value privacy, a trust typically does not become public record like a Will.
  • When you have children from a previous relationship, you can protect their inheritance from your current spouse.
  • If an heir cannot be trusted to receive a large lump sum inheritance, a trust can protect his or her inheritance.
  • Trusts sometimes provide tax relief for both grantor and heirs.
  • Avoid probate by transferring your assets to a trust.

Trusts are complicated. Choosing the wrong trust, setting it up correctly, or failing to fund it can do more harm than good.

Coordinate with an Estate Planning Attorney

As a Florida attorney board certified in Wills, Trusts & Estates, Attorney John Mangan helps his clients develop complete estate plans. To schedule an appointment, call us at 772-324-9050 or fill out our Contact Form. Our office is conveniently located in Palm City, Florida. We also help clients throughout Florida, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, and Port St. Lucie.

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