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Estate planning and the importance of updating a will

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2021 | Estate Planning & Probate

For people in Houston and throughout Texas who take the responsible step of creating an estate plan, it is imperative to remember that the simple creation of a will or other estate planning document does not end the process. Updating the estate plan is often necessary. Change is inevitable with the possibility of divorce, newborn children, grandchildren and significantly different circumstances. Failure to adequately update a will as needed can cause problems after death. To be protected, it is wise to know when and how to make the will applicable to the current situation.

Failing to update a will might impact its validity

Simply creating a will does not mean that the process is over. A will could become outdated. This is also referred to as “stale.” To prevent this, updates may be needed. Wills, in general, do not expire. However, the terms of the will might no longer be sufficient to address various changes that occurred from the time it was completed. An example is if an heir dies prior to the testator. At the time the will is constructed, this could be treated as if it is a remote possibility. Unfortunately, people become ill, accidents happen and issues arise making the will obsolete.

If a will becomes outdated, its terms might be invalid and the laws of the state will dictate how the testator’s property is distributed based on the person dying intestate, or without a will. To make sure the will remains valid, it should be periodically reviewed to check for potential problems and updated accordingly.

Professional advice can help ensure a will is valid

The estate planning process does not end when the will is complete. Knowing how and when to update the document is vital to having it executed as desired. Making necessary adjustments is a fundamental aspect of a comprehensive estate plan.