We have written extensively about the pitfalls in not having a will. As such, many clients heed that warning and request that their attorney draft a will and other associated estate documents on their behalf. While these clients have taken responsible action and had their estate documents drafted, additional tasks are required. We suggest that estate documents be reviewed and potentially redrafted on a periodic basis for the reasons highlighted in this post.
Most people experience changes in their life and in the lives of those around them that require revision of estate documents. Such internal changes are as follows. Perhaps the executor appointed in the will does not currently get along with the testator (person making the will) or is unable to perform his duties due to illness or death. Maybe the formerly adorable child is now an irresponsible young adult, whose inheritance should be left in a trust. Perhaps an estrangement of relationship has occurred, so that the testator wishes to disinherit a relative. These events are under the knowledge and control of the testator.
Relationships and events may result in the need to revise estate documents. Some of these events are divorce of the testator or adult child, a grandchild’s birth, receipt of inheritance, retirement, and chronic disability. Your attorney will assist you in adjusting your estate documents whether or not such events are joyous.