A Last Will and Testament is a legal document instructing what should happen to your assets and property (known as your estate) at the time of your death. But it does not stop there. You can assign a guardian for children and appoint an executor for your estate, and much more. Over the course of a lifetime, however, many events create circumstances that require you to change your Will. You remarried. You had a falling out with a family member. You started a business. Your partner died. You got a divorce. You had another child.
Whatever the event is, you should change your Will to reflect the new circumstances. At Ronald J. Fichera Law Firm, we believe in updating Wills on a regular basis so that they reflect the current situation in your life. If you have a Will and need to make changes to it, contact us online or at 610-768-9255 to learn more. In the meantime, here's generally what you should know about changing Wills.
People who have a Will that no longer reflects their intentions can change it. There are two basic ways to change a will: (1) by writing a new Will; or (2) by amending a current Will with a codicil.
Creating a new Will has become the preferred way to change an estate plan. However, creating a new Will without regard to the old one makes the Will vulnerable to court challenges. The old one must be emphatically revoked. To revoke a Will, you have a few relatively simple options:
Codicils have all of the legal requirements of a regular will, meaning they must show testamentary intent and must satisfy all of the other requirements of validity in Pennsylvania. Codicils are not intended to be a complete Will, and that's why this method is not preferred: it leaves the testator with two valid testamentary instruments floating around, and if one is lost, it opens the door to challenges to the Will.
Like with the first Will, you should take a few steps to secure and protect the Will.
Estate planning is an ongoing process. People should at least revisit the terms of their will every year, even if only to reaffirm them. However, there are some life events that should lead people to make a change, which include:
Any of these events can drastically alter your final testamentary intentions or can make the current terms of your will unworkable.
If you want to change or update your current last will and testament, you need to make sure that it is done right. Not properly destroying or revoking the first Will can create problems when the Will goes through probate.
At RJ Fichera Law Firm, we will guide you through the process of changing your Will. Contact us either by filling out the online form or by calling us directly at 610-768-9255 to schedule a Free Consultation.
Reach out to the Ronald J. Fichera Law Firm, where trust meets excellence. Fill out the form below to secure your family's legacy and receive expert legal counsel. Your peace of mind is our priority.