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Why might I change my will?

It is common knowledge that everyone should have a will, but just having a will is not always enough to ensure that your wishes are known and executed when you pass away. Regular will maintenance that's reflective of important life changes is an important component of any plan for handling your affairs if you become incapacitated or after your death.

There are many reasons you might want to change your will. Most commonly, individuals will modify a will to address a change in marital status, or to reflect a move between states or countries with differing laws regarding marital status. When you get married, this will likely mean you will change your existing will to include your new spouse as a beneficiary. If you are relocating to a state where your common-law relationship or civil union does not enjoy the same privileges as your previous residence provided, then your will may need to be updated.

Likewise, if you divorce or have a child, you may wish to change your will to reflect the change in beneficiaries. You could also either gain or lose significant assets, which might change how you wish to distribute assets to beneficiaries. You may even have a change of heart about end-of-life decisions and procedures. A change in your will can address all of these issues.

The easiest way to change your will is to simply make a new will. It is also possible to add a codicil to an existing will, if you prefer this solution. An attorney with experience in wills and estate planning can help guide you through will creation and answer any other questions you have about the process.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Changing a Will," accessed Sep. 16, 2016

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