While Texas has some of the most flexible laws when it comes to executing wills, that does not change the fact that writing a will can be a difficult and emotional task. This is why many who take the courageous step to write a will may feel some sense of relief, tuck the will away and get on with their lives. However, if you have an old will that you haven’t reviewed lately, you may be placing your family at risk.
A will is not a stagnant document any more than life is stagnant. With each passing year, lives change, family dynamics alter, and people come and go. If you look at your life now compared to the person you were when you executed your will, you may agree that there are some profound differences that could affect the terms of your will. This is why it is important to review and revise your will periodically.
Taking a closer look
At least once a year, you may wish to pull your will from wherever you keep it and read it over carefully. Ask yourself if the decisions you made then still apply. If you were to pass away, would your will provide comfort and relief to your loved ones, or would it leave them confused and facing costly legal disputes? Often confusion arises when a will contains information that is no longer relevant because of major life changes. Have any of the following occurred since you last reviewed your will?
- Did you and your spouse divorce, or are you considering filing for divorce?
- Have you remarried?
- Did you have or adopt a child?
- Do you have an adult child who recently married?
- Do you have an adult child who is struggling with an addiction, has a gambling problem or is dealing with overwhelming debt?
- Is your chosen estate executor no longer fit for the role, or have any of your beneficiaries died?
- Has your financial situation drastically changed, such as a job loss or a windfall of money?
Whether you are ready to execute a will or you have questions about updating an existing will, a search online cannot compare to the personal and individualized guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney. You may not even be aware of some of the options available that would be appropriate for your circumstances. However, an attorney can provide answers and information to assist you in creating a solid estate plan for the good of your family.