man writing last will and testament

Though you may assume the minute you sign your will you’re officially done estate planning, this is far from the truth. In reality, you’ll need to revise your will to ensure it reflects changes in your life. If you’re ready to update the terms of your will, understanding the steps you must take to do so is crucial. Unfortunately, failure to complete the necessary steps with the assistance of a Washtenaw County wills attorney can impact the validity and legality of your document. The following blog explores what you must know about these circumstances.

Why Might I Need to Revise My Will?

When you create a will, it reflects the circumstances of your life at the time it is written. However, your life will likely change to include new family members, property, and relationships. As such, it’s imperative to update the terms and conditions of your will to ensure they adhere to your wishes.

For example, you may welcome a grandchild into your family. If you created your will five years before their birth, you likely do not have them included in your estate plan. As such, you’ll want to revise the terms to ensure you leave them an inheritance.

Additionally, you’ll want to update your will when any of the following occur:

  • Births
  • Adoptions
  • Deaths
  • Marriages
  • Divorces
  • The acquisition or sale of real estate
  • An out-of-state move

How Do I Change the Terms of My Will?

Unfortunately, many assume updating a will is as simple as crossing out the section they wish to amend and attaching a note with new conditions. However, this is far from the truth. In reality, this process is complex and requires an understanding of Michigan law to ensure the change is legally valid.

The first option is to create a codicil to the will. This allows you to amend or supplement the existing terms of your will. Generally, this is good for minor changes.

However, if you wish to change multiple sections of your will, it may be in your best interest to revoke your current estate plan and rewrite the document. This decision should not be made lightly, as it can be lengthy and complex to rewrite your entire will.

Why Do I Need an Attorney for This Process?

Unfortunately, if you do not amend your will in the correct way, it puts the entire plan at risk. The updates and changes you make must adhere to Michigan law. If they do not, it means your will can be ruled invalid, leaving your estate intestate. As such, your wishes will not be granted, as your estate is left in the hands of Michigan.

When you go through a significant life event, ensuring you update the terms of your will is crucial. At Collis, Griffor & Hendra, our dedicated team understands that you want to ensure this is reflected in your estate plan. As such, our firm is committed to helping you achieve peace of mind by ensuring your estate plan reflects your wishes. Contact our office today to discuss your circumstances.

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