Can I Update Or Change My Will, And How Often Should I Do So in New York?

Updating and Changing Your Will

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Updating and Changing Your Will in New York: A Comprehensive Guide

Your last will and testament is a crucial legal document outlining how your assets will be distributed after passing. However, life is dynamic, and circumstances change. Therefore, knowing how and when to update or change your will in New York is important. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process and provide valuable insights to ensure you remain up-to-date and reflect your wishes.

Why Update Your Will?

Before diving into the specifics of updating your will, it’s essential to understand why it’s necessary. Several life events may prompt you to revisit and modify your will, including:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth or adoption of children or grandchildren
  • Death of a beneficiary or executor
  • Acquisition of significant assets
  • Change in your financial situation
  • Relocation to another state or country
  • Changes in your personal wishes and priorities

These events can impact your estate plan and require adjustments to ensure your intentions are met.

How to Update Your Will

Updating your will in New York involves a series of steps to ensure its legality and effectiveness:

1. Consult an Attorney

It’s highly advisable to seek legal counsel when making changes to your will. An experienced estate planning attorney at Morgan Legal Group can provide guidance, review your existing will, and help you draft any necessary amendments.

2. Codicil or New Will?

Depending on the extent of the changes needed, you can choose to create a codicil (an amendment) or draft an entirely new will. A codicil is appropriate for minor changes, while substantial modifications may require a new will.

3. Execute the Changes

If creating a codicil, it must meet the same legal requirements as a will, including the presence of witnesses. When creating a new will, follow the same formalities as when you initially drafted your will.

4. Revocation Clause

Include a revocation clause in your updated will or codicil to explicitly revoke all previous wills and codicils to avoid any confusion.

5. Keep It Safe

Store your updated will or codicil in a secure location, such as a safe deposit box or with your attorney, and inform your executor and loved ones of its whereabouts.

How Often Should You Update Your Will?

There’s no set frequency for updating your will, as it largely depends on your personal circumstances. However, reviewing your will regularly is recommended, especially when significant life events occur. At a minimum, consider revisiting your will every three to five years to ensure it aligns with your current wishes and the applicable laws.

Updating your will is a responsible and proactive step to protect your assets and provide for your loved ones. At Morgan Legal Group, our skilled estate planning attorneys are here to assist you in modifying your will to reflect your changing circumstances. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and ensure your estate plan remains current and effective.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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