Five Reasons You Should Write / Update a Will
Do you have a Will? Should you update it? Do you even need a Will? These are important questions that you may have considered recently. The simple answer is that everyone should have a Will, and you should review & update it regularly. There are many reasons for having a Will. Below, we discuss a few of the most common situations where New Jersey residents should consider writing or updating their Will and Estate Plan:
- Change in Marital Status
Getting married or divorced is a major life event, and it should probably make you think about your Will. This is especially true for second marriages or if you have a mixed family. You want to make sure that your current spouse will be taken care of if something happens to you. You also want to make sure you are not unintentionally leaving your assets to a former spouse or his/her family.
- Birth of a Child / Death of a Loved One
Welcoming a new baby to the family is one of life’s greatest joys. Losing a cherished parent or grandparent can be devastating. Both of these events should make you think about your own life. Do you want to make sure a new child or grandchild is properly cared for if something happens to you? Have you named a Guardian? Did you previously leave all your assets to an older relative who is now deceased? If so, you should take the time to write a new Will to make sure that your family is taken care of if something unexpected happens to you.
- Buying or Selling a Home
Real Estate is often a person’s largest asset. If you have recently bought your first home or upgraded to your dream home, you may want to consider updating your Will. Depending on exactly how you own your home, you may need to make special accommodations to make sure a loved one still has a place to live if something happens to you. If your home has been in the family for generations and you want to make sure that it is taken care of, you may be able to specify this in your Will.
- Major Financial Change
CONGRATULATIONS! You just won the lottery and never have to work again: You NEED to speak with a lawyer about updating your Will. Depending on the size of your potential estate, you might need to make arrangements that properly consider the complexities of estate and inheritance taxes.
- Change of Heart
Your Will leaves all your assets to your favorite niece or nephew. Then he/she does something absolutely unforgivable that embarrasses you and your family. You need to update your Will to make sure that you do not leave everything to someone you no longer trust or love. It is OK to change your mind on how your assets are distributed, but the only way to make sure that everything is properly handled is to speak with a lawyer who can help you update your Will.
Regardless of your personal circumstances, you should probably have a Will. Even if you already have a Will, you should consider having it updated. New Jersey law is constantly changing, and so may your wishes. The only way to make sure that your wishes are carried out is to have an up-to-date Will and Estate Plan.
The lawyers at Tagliente & Shah have helped clients in a wide variety of situations write their Wills. We will work with you to make sure that your Will accurately reflects your wishes. Our attorneys are available to meet with you on nights & weekends. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation! We also offer discounted rates to military, veterans, and first responders!