A will is often the most important estate planning document for Minnesota residents, and there are times when it may make sense to update one. For instance, when an individual with an existing will gets married, the spouse does not necessarily become the main heir. Instead, state law may determine that the spouse will get half of the estate with parents or children getting the rest. Updating the will may also come in handy when remarrying or divorcing as this could impact who gets what assets under the current will.
If an individual has children, it may also be worthwhile to update a will. It may be advisable to name a guardian to care for the child as well as a trust to dictate how assets will be distributed. A power of attorney to cover health care or financial decisions that would become effective if the testator becomes incapacitated may also be a good idea.
As a person approaches middle age, it may be worthwhile to update the will as a tax planning move. Taking steps now can ensure that heirs get more of the estate and that less of it goes to the state or federal government. Those who move to another state should also review their will, as the new state’s laws may impact whether the will is valid.
Talking to an estate planning attorney may be worthwhile when considering how to structure wills or trusts. An attorney may be able to review such a document to determine if it meets state law, helping to ensure that its designated beneficiaries get what they are entitled to.
Source: Kiplinger , “Good Reasons to Change Your Will“, December 22, 2014