Your Will should be reviewed and updated as your life changes. Call an estate planning lawyer today.
Updating you Will is an important step in your estate plan. Your will should reflect your life circumstances as they evolve. Read our blog to see when you should contact your estate planning attorney to update it.
Your Will is a crucial component of your estate plan, serving as a roadmap for the distribution of your assets and the fulfillment of your wishes after you're gone. However, life is dynamic, and as circumstances change, so should your Will.
In Arizona, as elsewhere, it's imperative to periodically review and update your Will to ensure it accurately reflects your current situation and desires. In this blog, we explore the reasons behind updating your Will and address common questions about estate planning in Arizona.
The Importance of Updating Your Will
Life is marked by various milestones, and each significant event may necessitate adjustments to your estate plan. We usually look at major life events that may change distribution under estate law and alter your estate planning goals. Here are some key scenarios in which you should consider updating your Will:
Marriage and Blended Families
When you experience significant life events such as marriage or the blending of families, it's essential to revisit your Will. Marriage often introduces new beneficiaries, and blended families may require thoughtful provisions to ensure the fair distribution of assets among all family members.
The dissolution of a marriage has profound implications for your estate. Updating your Will after a divorce is crucial to remove your ex-spouse as a beneficiary, preventing unintended consequences in the distribution of your assets.
Your marital status is one of the main driver in your estate.
Birth or Adoption of Children
The joyous arrival of a new family member through birth or adoption is a reason to celebrate but also to update your Will. Designating a guardian for your minor children ensures their well-being in the event of your untimely passing.
Changes in Financial Situation
Fluctuations in your financial situation, such as significant windfalls or downturns, may necessitate adjustments to your plan. Ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your current financial standing is vital for an effective Will. An estate planning lawyer can help find the best strategy for you.
You should discuss with an estate planning lawyer if you have a business, or you start a new business venture, as you have changing circumstances. That may be a significant change and an experienced attorney will be able to guide you properly.
Death of a Beneficiary or Executor
The passing of a beneficiary or executor named in your Will requires prompt action. Reviewing and updating your Will allows you to designate new beneficiaries or executors, ensuring your wishes are carried out smoothly.
Relocation to Another State
If you've recently relocated to Arizona from another state, it's essential to review your Will. Laws regarding estate planning vary, and ensuring your Will complies with Arizona statutes is crucial for its validity and effectiveness. Estate planning law is state law. You should consult with lawyer, you estate planning documents should comply with your new state and follow Arizona state laws.
An updated will may be the difference between going into probate court or not. Your loved ones will appreciate your diligence. They don't need the legal scrutiny that a probate can bring to their lives.
In Arizona for a will to be self proving you should sign it in front of a notary and have two witness signatures as well. The original Will will be submitted to an Arizona court under Arizona's intestacy laws.
An experienced attorney will follow the law and make sure to contact clients if changes in law happen. Changes in law are usually related to taxes. Your lawyer will follow the law and contact you to protect your valuable assets, your property and any other assets. Managing you estate correctly is essential to protect your loved ones inheritance.
Frequently asked questions about updating your Will in Arizona
1) Who should I choose as my personal representative?
Selecting a personal representative is a critical decision in estate planning. While it may be tempting to choose a family member, it's essential to consider factors beyond familial ties. The personal representative, sometimes known as an executor, plays a pivotal role in administering your estate and ensuring your wishes are carried out. Choose someone responsible, trustworthy, and capable of handling the complexities of estate administration.
2) Is a Last Will and Testament the right estate planning strategy for me?
Determining the most suitable estate planning strategy depends on various factors, including the complexity of your financial situation, your family dynamics, and your long-term goals. While a Last Will and Testament is a common and straightforward option, it may not be the most comprehensive solution for everyone. Consulting with an estate planning attorney can help you assess your unique circumstances and explore alternative strategies such as trusts.
You need to make sure you are of sound mind and not under any undue influence for your documents to be valid.
3) I have minor children; should I write a Will in Arizona?
Having minor children adds an extra layer of complexity to estate planning. In your Will, you can designate a guardian for your children, ensuring their well-being in the event of your untimely passing. Without a designated guardian, the court may determine who will care for your children, and your preferences may not be considered.
4) I no longer have minor children; should I update my Will?
As your children reach adulthood, your priorities and distribution preferences may change. It's advisable to review and update your Will to reflect these changes. You may want to reconsider beneficiaries, distribution percentages, and charitable contributions based on your current circumstances.
5) I got divorced; should I update my Will?
Divorce is a significant life event that can have profound implications for your estate plan. After a divorce, it's crucial to update your Will to remove your ex-spouse as a beneficiary and make necessary adjustments. Failing to do so could result in unintended consequences, with your ex-spouse potentially inheriting assets you intended for others.
6) I got married, and my spouse has kids from a previous marriage. Should I create a Will or a Trust?
Blended families introduce unique considerations to estate planning. Depending on your goals and the specific dynamics of your family, you may need more advanced tools such as a Trust to address the complexities of blended family estate planning. A Trust can provide flexibility in distributing assets to ensure the financial well-being of your spouse and stepchildren while preserving your legacy for future generations.
7) I already have a Will. How do I create a new one?
Updating your Will involves a careful process to ensure all changes align with legal requirements. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney is crucial to navigate this process smoothly. An attorney can help you draft an amendment (also known as a codicil) to your existing Will or guide you in creating an entirely new Will, depending on the extent of the changes needed. DIY changes to your Will may lead to unintentional errors or omissions, so professional guidance is highly recommended.
Call an Will and Trusts attorney Chandler today
The intricacies of estate planning can be overwhelming, but the expertise of a skilled estate planning attorney can guide you through the process. If you're in Arizona, specifically Chandler, Citadel Law Firm is here to assist you. Our experienced wills and trusts attorneys are ready to provide personalized solutions to meet your unique needs.
Call Citadel Law Firm today to schedule your free estate planning consultation with an wills and trust attorney. Creating an comprehensive estate plan with an experienced estate planning attorney will bring you and your family members peace of mind.
Call (480)565-8020 or click here to schedule your free consultation. Our estate planning lawyer Chandler will be pleased to help.