If you live on the Treasure Coast area of Florida and come talk to us about creating a last will and testament, you should expect us to tell you that you should plan on updating your will in the future. Though there is no legal requirement that forces you to update a will, you can rest assured that making changes to the document will be in your best interest, especially after you get married, have children, or get divorced.
So, if you made a last will and testament and have experienced a significant life change that affects your family and personal life, contact us as soon as possible. Until then, here is what you should know about updating your will after you get married, have children, or go through a divorce.
Updating your will after marriage.
No one is ever legally obligated to make a last will and testament. However, if you choose to make a will, there are some legal realities with which you should be aware. One of those realities is the automatic inheritance rights that spouses earn upon entering into a marriage. In other words, should you choose to get married, you and your spouse will each earn the automatic right to inherit from one another regardless of the terms included in your will. Even though the will you created might be legally valid, you cannot completely disinherit a spouse. So, if you made a will prior to getting married, you will need to update your will after your marriage to make sure that it doesn’t contain any problems.
Updating your will after having a child.
Similar to spouses, children gain inheritance rights simply by existing. However, a child’s right to inherit is not necessarily automatic. Even though children are entitled to receive an inheritance from their parents should the parents die without a last will and testament, the parents can also choose to disinherit those children by not leaving them an inheritance through there will.
The problem, however, comes when people create a last will and testament prior to having children, and failing to update the will afterwards. Children left out of the will can complicate the inheritance choices you make through the document, so updating your will after having a child is essential.
Updating your will after going through a divorce.
If marriage automatically conveys inheritance rights to spouses, divorce terminates those rights. So, if you made a last will and testament after getting married, you’ll need to go back and update your will after you go through divorce to address your new circumstances.