Everybody will die someday, including you. If you want to make a difference, at least for the people who you truly love and care for the most, creating your will as early as possible is a must. Doing this ensures that your final wishes are fulfilled, and that your loved ones won’t experience family feuds or legal problems associated with the proper distribution of your assets.
One of the most common questions is “Can you change a will after you do one?” which is explored below.
What Is A Will?
Wills are legal documents that contain all relevant details regarding the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries; these may include your spouse, children, close friends, other relatives or chosen charitable organizations.
A will must be created with the help of a lawyer, to ensure that all the correct information is given in a legally acceptable format. You can create a will online through Willed, following a simple step-by-step process, which is created by expert estate lawyers.
Can You Change Your Will Yourself?
No. Changing your will either by adding an extra page or writing on it is not allowed. After the will has been witnessed and signed, you can’t make any alternations or changes yourself because it will invalidate the will.
Avoid pinning or stapling anything to it; this will raise doubts or imply that there’s something missing. Your will could even be considered null.
Can You Replace Your Will?
Yes. You can replace your will. This is the best way to go about making any changes to the pre-existing terms.
Can You Amend Your Will?
Yes. If you don’t want to replace your will, you can add a codicil, which must be properly witnessed and signed to be considered valid. A codicil is a document used to amend an existing will without having to replace it.
Since a codicil allows you to make changes to your will and testament without creating an entirely new one, it must be signed by at least two witnesses. Your witnesses don’t have to be the same people who witnessed the original will’s signing. Will amendments usually happen if the person who wrote the will needs to add a new property or heir to the legal document.
When Should You Change Or Replace Your Will?
Before you decide on anything, it’s important to consider everything. You don’t want to be creating a new will every time you experience a change of heart.
You can’t just change your original will because you’re angry with your son, daughter or spouse; simple misunderstandings or differences in life principles don’t mean anything beside you not being around anymore. Take the time to think before making any changes to your will. One of the best ways to avoid making impulsive decisions is by consulting an estate lawyer to get proper guidance.
Think about the future. At the end of the day, you want your loved ones to remember you, and to appreciate what you did for them by including them as beneficiaries. Instead of removing an heir to your will, you can set provisions or terms that the court must honor to avoid putting your efforts and estate to waste.
Here are some of the most common reasons to consider changing a will:
If you get married and want to include your spouse in your will, then you should amend the document appropriately. Creating a new will can also benefit same-sex married couples.
Some states give part or all of the estate to the dead person’s former spouse. Other states still enforce the will. If you have not created a will, your former spouse could be given inheritance by the court. For this reason, changing or creating a new will is a wise decision if you don’t want your ex-spouse to take part of your estate.
Common Law Marriage
Many states don’t recognize common law marriages. Make sure that your common law spouse receives a part of your estate by adding their name to the document.
A New Baby
If you’ve been blessed with a new baby either by adoption or birth, it’s a good decision to include the baby’s name in your will. By doing so, you’ll be ensuring your child a part of your estate.
Adding A New Heir Or A Change Of Heart
You can add a new heir, such as your favorite niece or a grandchild, by changing your will. This also applies if you change your mind about giving a particular heir a part of your estate.
It is important to update your will if you decide to change your children’s future guardians.
Because stepchildren usually don’t have inheritance rights, parents must ensure that they receive a percentage of the estate by creating a new will.
Death Of Spouse Or Child
If any of your heirs die before you, you should update your will to set a different percentage to your surviving heirs.
Change Of Your Estate Value
If you’ve recently acquired a new property, obtained more assets or sold a property or asset, it is advisable to revise your will.
Leave Your Assets To Charity
You can also leave a percentage or all of your assets to charity; if you have no heirs to leave your estate to, this is a very viable option.
While you cannot make changes to your will on your own, you can always make amendments or create a new will; if you have these documents signed by at least two witnesses, your new will is perfectly valid. For instance, you may want to revise your will or create a new one after the birth of a new baby, a new marriage or a divorce. This is a wise step if you want your assets to be left to your children alone, or to someone else. That said, make sure to think about changing or replacing your will very carefully before doing so, to avoid having regrets later on.