How and When You Should Change Your Will

Your last will and testament governs how you want your property distributed, who should care for your children, and who should handle your affairs after you pass away. After you sign a will, circumstances may change that necessitate revision of your will.

What kinds of circumstances will require you to change your will?

There are many reasons why you may need to change your will, including:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth of children
  • Sale or acquisition of property
  • Adding a trust provision
  • Changes to the law
  • Change of heart about certain aspects of your will

Fortunately, the process to change a will is not overly complicated and an Atlanta estate planning lawyer can give you advise, let you know what options you have and help you make the necessary changes.

How can a will be changed?

If only minor revisions to a will are needed, then an Atlanta estate planning attorney can prepare a codicil, which merely modifies the applicable provisions. A codicil must be in writing, specify which portions of the will are being amended, and be signed in the presence of witnesses.

In some situations, it may be necessary to completely redraft the will. This would require an express revocation of any previous will. It is always a good idea to get the advice of a skilled attorney with this.

Common mistakes people make when changing their will or trust

  • Failing to expressly revoke a prior will
  • Not complying with the requirements for a valid will
  • Leaving out important details
  • Using language that is too vague

How can an attorney help?

An Atlanta estate planning lawyer will be able to help you revise your will to achieve your purposes. They can draft a will or codicil in way that complies with the law and avoids the issues that commonly arise. If you need a will drafted, revised or reviewed, contact Cohen & Goodman Law to schedule an appointment.