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How Long Does My Will Last?

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Whether you wrote a will years ago or are thinking about writing one soon, you might wonder how long this document lasts. The short answer is that your will should last forever, as it does not expire. So even if you wrote your will decades ago, it’s still valid today. That being said, you should review your will and update it as needed every few years. Take a look at why that is and how to do it.

When Should I Update the Will?

In general, you should review your will every three to five years. But some major life events should lead you to update your will, such as:

  • You get married
  • You have a new baby
  • Your spouse, child, or another beneficiary passes away
  • You get divorced
  • You have grandchildren
  • You move to a different state
  • Your financial status changes significantly
  • You experience health problems

In these situations, you might want to add or remove beneficiaries as birth, death, and divorce can change who you want to leave your assets to. You will also find that your assets vary over time, so you will need to add or remove those from the will. A Minneapolis wills lawyer can assist with these updates.

Why Is It Important to Update the Will Periodically?

Even if you don’t have many life changes that affect your assets and beneficiaries, you should still review your will every few years. So much can change in just a decade, making your will outdated and difficult to understand or carry out properly without any updates.
For instance, maybe you wrote your will 25 years ago and appointed your best friend or sibling as an executor. But if you barely talk these days or are not even sure how to contact that person, it will be hard for them to carry out your wishes through your will. This could delay probate for your family.
Additionally, an older will might be missing information regarding technology. If you wrote it before you had a cell phone and laptop, you should update it to add these items and include information about how to access them, such as passwords. Your Minneapolis wills lawyer can guide you on anything else to add to the will.

How Can I Change My Will?

If it’s clear you need to update your will, there are a couple of ways to do this. One is to make an addendum, also called a codicil, that can amend the document. Your other option is to revoke and destroy the old will and replace it with a new one. Either way, you will need two witnesses to sign a document stating that they watched you update your will.
You can benefit from the guidance of a wills lawyer to ensure that your wishes are clear and that you didn’t leave out any details. Contact our Minneapolis law firm at 612-448-9653 for legal support with your will today.

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