Having a will is a critical element to your estate plan. A will is simply a legally-binding document that dictates who inherits your estate in case of death. You will name heirs and you have the ability to list certain conditions and items in the will as well. Making and maintaining a will is one of the most important factors in providing an estate plan for you and your family.
But as simple as a will may sound, there are plenty of complicated factors that come along with a will -- and there are many other things to consider, even if you aren't the person whose estate is at stake in the will. What are these situations? Let's take a look at three:
- Updating your will. When a major life event changes your life or your family's life, you will want to update your will to make sure it reflects your current state of mind. For example, if you divorce, you may want to write your spouse out of the will, or even just amend the inheritance that he or she is entitled to.
- Challenging a will. If you believe you are entitled to inheritance that you aren't receiving as a result of nefarious action, or possibly competing wills, then you may take legal action to challenge the will (or wills). Fraud or forgery is another reason to challenge a will.
- Revoking a will. This is fairly simple, and it relates back to our first point. If life changes, you may want to change your will. But not just some parts of it -- the whole thing. This is called revoking a will, and it is done by destroying the old will and creating a new one.
Source: FindLaw, "Revoking, Challenging or Changing a Will," Accessed Jan. 16, 2015