Tuesday, May 29, 2012
IS IT TIME TO UPDATE YOUR WILL?
Living in Florida, it is very hard to find someone who was actually born here. Per the results of the last census the percentage change in population for Florida between 2000 and 2010 increased 17.6% as opposed to 9.7% for the rest of the country. About 1,000 more people move to Florida everyday than leave, per a recent report from the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida. Florida has a reputation for being the preferred destination for many retired individuals. A move is a major life change and it usually means the sale of one major asset and the purchase of another. It also means moving away from close friends and family that may have served an important role in your Will or other estate planning documents.
The question then becomes “When should you review you estate planning documents?” I encourage my clients to review their Wills and other estate planning documents after a major life event. A move to another state is an example of a major life event. A move does not necessarily require a whole new Will to be drafted. In most cases, for small changes to a Will, a codicil can be drafted and executed. A codicil is a separate document that can be added to an existing Will to change certain aspects of that Will. A codicil can be used to change property owned, name new beneficiaries or add a new Personal Representative.
The changing of a Will is a relatively simple process and will be considered a valid change so long as the Codicil to the Will is executed according to Florida guidelines. You should review your Will and other Estate Planning documents whenever you experience a major life change. If you have questions about the process or are not sure whether you need a new Will or just a Codicil, you should consult an attorney. Most attorneys offer free initial consultations so getting answers to your questions should not cost you anything.