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William Rambaum, PA Clearwater & Oldsmar Elder Law Attorney

Signs It Is Time to Update Your Will


If you are old enough to think seriously about estate planning and to have written a will, you are probably used to young people telling you that various things of yours are outdated.  If your children and grandchildren think your clothes, your phone, and your political views are outdated, you can agree to disagree, but having an outdated will can cause serious problems.  Do you really want your ex-spouse to inherit property from you, as per your old will, in addition to all the spousal support you are paying while you are alive?  What about new investments you have made since you last modified your will?  Even if no major changes have happened with your family or financial situation, it is still a good idea to review your will with an estate planning lawyer if a few years have passed since you wrote it.

Reasons to Update Your Will

Especially if you wrote your will a long time ago, a lot of things might have changed.  These are some reasons you might need to change some of the provisions in your will.

  • Your old will mentions assets that you no longer own, either because you sold them or because you passed them on to family members as gifts.
  • You have acquired valuable pieces of property not mentioned in your old will. If your will contains a provision that all assets not specifically mentioned will go to a certain beneficiary, then that person will inherit your new assets, but if you do not want all the new assets to go to the same person, you must list them separately.
  • The legal names of people listed as beneficiaries have changed. For example, if your daughter got married and took her husband’s last name after you last updated your will, it will be difficult for her to inherit the assets you bequeathed to her unless you use her current legal name in your will.
  • More children or grandchildren have been born in your family since you last updated your will, and you want to specify what they will inherit.
  • You specifically want to disinherit one of your family members. If you do not specify that this family member will not inherit anything, they may be able to convince the probate court that you intended to leave part of your estate to them.
  • Someone you listed as a beneficiary in your old will has died.
  • Laws regarding inheritance have changed; this is especially important if you wrote your will a long time ago or before you moved to Florida. Even if you updated your will recently, it is a good idea to have an estate planning lawyer review it to make sure that none of its provisions conflict with Florida law.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

An out of date will can cause as many delays during probate as not having a will at all.  An estate planning lawyer can make sure that your will contains the instructions that you want it to contain.  Contact Clearwater estate planning attorney William Rambaum to discuss your questions.


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