Do I Need to Update My Will from 10 Years Ago?

Having a will in place is one of the most important things you can do to provide for yourself and your loved ones. This plan gives you the clarity, peace of mind, and security needed to ensure that whatever happens in the future, your assets are taken care of and distributed properly.

However, it's important to review estate documents often to ensure information is up-to-date and abides by current laws. Taking steps today to make sure all decisions are thoroughly thought out will give you greater control over how assets should be managed in the future.

How Often Should a Will be Updated?

Keeping your will current with the latest laws is essential for making sure your wishes are carried out. While a good rule of thumb is to review all documents every five years, this timeline should be adjusted in special circumstances. For instance, as you get older, updating your will more frequently may be necessary. Similarly, if you have a significant amount of assets or experience a major life event that could drastically affect your possible decisions down the road, it's important to adjust your will and estate plans accordingly.

Life Events That Can Affect Your Will

It is important to remember that if you plan on taking advantage of the protections offered through Florida law, such as those for your children, spouse, and business, you must make sure your will is up-to-date. These protections may not be fulfilled when documents are outdated or not properly maintained because there is no way for companies or the court system to know what should be honored. As such, here are a few events that indicate it’s time to update your will:

  • New family members: As new members of your family are added through birth, adoption, and marriage, you may want to update your will to accommodate these new members. Keeping this information current will help protections for children and grandchildren stay honored. These protections may include provisions for a family member with special needs or if you decide to provide for a child from a previous marriage.
  • Marriage or divorce: If you would like your spouse to inherit your property, have access to your life insurance, and make end-of-life decisions for you, you must specifically name them in your estate plan. If you have a former spouse that you no longer wish to inherit your assets or make decisions on your behalf, it is best for you to remove them from your plan as soon as possible.
  • Changes in health: If you have been diagnosed with a health condition that may affect your decision-making ability, consider who can care for you if you become incapacitated.
  • Buying a home: If you buy another home, working with an estate attorney can help guide you on how to pass down your property to your loved ones. In addition, if you moved out of state or purchased real estate in another state, you should update your will as soon as possible.

How Do I Change My Will in Florida?

In Florida, there are two ways to change a will. They include the following methods:

  1. Write a new will
  2. Amend your current will with a codicil

If you decide to write a new will, your old will must be emphatically revoked. To do so, you must stipulate in your new will that you revoke all previous wills. Or you may also physically destroy the old will and any copies. This can involve burning, shredding, and other methods to destroy the will.

Contact Our Estate Attorneys at Dorcey Law Firm

At Dorcey Law Firm, our attorneys are extensively knowledgeable when it comes to will writing and updating. We prioritize our clients’ concerns and wishes to ensure the well-being of their finances, assets, and personal property after death. We sincerely dedicate ourselves to providing the best service with respect and care to our clients. With Dorcey Law Firm as your partner, you can rest assured knowing that your estate matters are taken care of.

Call us at (239) 309-2870 or contact us online to learn more about how to protect your wishes and loved ones.