Wills Lawyer Ridgefield, CT
The act of writing a will is highly personal. In doing so, an individual sets out to instruct his or her loved ones in regards to how both sentimental and valuable personal property will be distributed after that individual’s death. As an individual’s circle of loved ones and assets evolve, so should that individual’s will. Thankfully, the law recognizes that wills should remain “living documents” and therefore honors the idea that they will be updated with relative frequency.
Although the law makes the process of updating wills in enforceable ways fairly easy, there are a few requirements related to the process of updating wills that individuals should keep in mind. Failure to respect these requirements may result in a will that is considered unenforceable. If this occurs, the state may feel compelled to distribute an individual’s property as it sees fit, rather than respecting the terms that the individual creator has provided. Similarly, when a will is not entirely enforceable, in-fighting among loved ones over the contents of that will may occur.
To Revoke and Draft or Simply Revise?
There are essentially two primary ways to revise an existing will. An individual may formally revoke the old will in its entirety and draft a new one or that individual may simply make changes to the terms and/or structure of the existing will. Neither approach is “better” than the other, each simply serves a different function. Revoking a will in its entirety and drafting a new one is a process generally best reserved for those situations which involve such a profound change in circumstance that the original will is virtually irrelevant. Formal revocation and subsequent execution of a new will is time-intensive, can be relatively expensive and must be done in highly specific ways.
Revising an existing will (to reflect new assets, new beneficiaries, changes in circumstances, etc.) can be done with relative ease. However, if you are thinking about revising an existing document, please consult your attorney about the best ways to go about doing so. Handwritten updates are only effective under certain circumstances, as are adding amendments and tacking on additional pages to a current document. In order to ensure that your will remains enforceable and that your wishes will ultimately be respected, please approach the process of revision with care.
Estate Planning Assistance Is Available
If you could benefit from assistance in either revising your existing will or revoking a former will and drafting a new one, please consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney. Estate plans generally (and wills specifically) are meant to serve as living documents. With few exceptions, they may usually be revised as often as the creator needs to update his or her wishes. As a result, it can be very beneficial to develop a working relationship with a wills lawyer Ridgefield, CT offers at Sweeney Legal, LLC you can trust. That way, any time your will or broader estate plan needs revising, you can seek the guidance of a trusted advocate and implement changes with minimal effort or fuss.