Thankfully, a Last Will and Testament doesn’t go bad due to the passage of time. If the Will was in writing and signed at the end by yourself and witnessed by at least two competent witnesses who saw you sign, then you are in good shape.
The bigger question is whether the Will still reflects your wishes.
Here are some changes that would warrant a review of your Will.
- Having A Child, Additional Children or Grandchildren: A new child could mean including him as a beneficiary. It could also mean naming a guardian over him or a custodian or establishing a trust to manage his inheritance.
- Marriage or Divorce: A new spouse or an ex-spouse may need to be added or taken off of a Will and a new individual put in his place as executor or beneficiary.
- Children Have Grown Up: It’s common for wills to be prepared when the testator has young children that need to be updated now that the children are grown. Perhaps an uncle or grandparent was named an executor and now it would be more appropriate for a child to be named executor.
- Estate Has Changed: An estate that has gone up or down significantly in value is good cause to review the plan.
- Specific Bequest is No More: Perhaps you intended a specific item, like your prized Harley Davidson, to go to a nephew that you’ve since sold. You may wish to make adjustments in your Will to provide for your nephew.
- A Death in the Family: If a beneficiary or executor has passed away, you may wish to name a replacement.
For more information on updating or changing a Last Will and Testament, contact a Cleveland estate planning lawyer.