Changing a Will
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Changing a Will

It is significantly important to keep your will up to date. As your life changes, so do your possible beneficiaries and heirs. When you don’t keep your last will and testament up to date, it might not express your wishes given your new situation.

The below are good situations where upon changing your will might be a good idea.


When getting married, both you and your new spouse should each devise a new will. A lot of states have statutes that grant a portion of your estate to your spouse following your passing away. Nevertheless, should you want to create your will another way, you should indicate this in your will. Additionally, including your spouse in your will might change the portion of your estate, or of a particular asset, that another beneficiary or heir was already written to receive. Changing a will needs to show this new proportion as you think best.

New Partner Without Marriage

Only if married is your partner going to systematically receive assets out of your estate. Should you find yourself with a new partner, altering a will to express what you would like to leave that partner is required. Nevertheless, should you be registered domestic partners in Maine, California, or New Jersey, mutual beneficiaries in Hawaii, or civil union partners in Connecticut or Vermont, then the statutes may be different; so, make sure to verify your state’s laws, should you live in one of those states.


Following a divorce, some states rescind any gifts you leave to your spouse through your will. Others don’t. Altering a will following a divorce is very vital. You are going to want to either define what you want to leave your ex-spouse or else define how those gifts should now be allocated.

A New Baby or Adopted Child

There are statutes in some states that give children some share of your assets upon your passing. On the other hand, not everyone wants their property to be allocated the way the state laws particularize. Should you welcome a new baby into your family, make sure to define what gifts, the baby is going to receive, by altering a will. Possibly more important, make sure to appoint a guardian for your baby. This is going to be the person who is going to care for your baby if anything were to happen to you.

New Stepchildren

Stepchildren are not systematically entitled to inherit a portion of your property in a lot of states. As a result, should you wish for your stepchildren to inherit some of your property, be sure to define your wishes by altering your will.

Moving From Community Property States to Common Law Property States

The laws ruling what each spouse owns differ subject to whether the couple lives in a community property state or a common law property one. Consequently, if you are planning on moving to a new state, verify that state’s laws. If it varies from the one you presently reside in, be sure to modify your will, in accordance to your new property ownership standing.

Having Second Thoughts Concerning Heirs

By all means, things happen in life that are the cause of people having second thoughts concerning the way in which they would like their property allocated. Modifying a will to show these new wishes is vital.

New or Disposed of Assets

If through your will you’re leaving all your property or a portion of your property to your heirs, then if what you own shifts, there is no need to modify your will. Nevertheless, if you have willed specific gifts to individuals in your will, and you no longer possess those properties, make sure to take that property out of your will. Furthermore, when you acquire new property, make sure you account for that in your will.

Ways of Changing a Will

The simplest way of changing a will is to just create a new one. You are able to utilize state-particular last will and testament documents online to do it. It is essential that you rescind your old will. For doing this, simply write a declaration in your new will that declares that you rescind all wills and addendums that you have previously created. This is adequate to rescind any previous wills, but it is a good idea to also shred any of your previous wills to bypass misunderstandings or disputes to your new will.

Another way to change your will is by including what is referred to as an addendum. An addendum is like an amendment or addition to the will. Use an addendum to rescind part of your will or add a new stipulation. To be legitimate, they are required to be dated, signed, and witnessed the same as like a legal will. Addendum were an efficient way of changing a will prior to there being PC and printing was difficult. Presently, addendums should be avoided whenever possible. They can be the cause of confusion, get lost, and are sometimes even a means to dispute wills.

Changes to Other Estate Documentation

A lot of your property transfers by law to beneficiaries, in spite what your will states. Property like as retirement earnings, life insurance earnings, joint financial institution accounts, POD financial institution accounts, and stocks recorded with a TOD form all pass directly to a designated beneficiary. If you have second thoughts concerning who the beneficiary should be, change the names using the forms on which you named the initial beneficiaries. Do not alter the named beneficiaries through your will, as it is going to have no impact.

Living trusts are additionally not impacted by the conditions of your will. Should you decide to change the conditions of your living trust, add a revision to the initial trust document. Following that, transfer property in or out of your trustee’s name, accordingly. You don’t need to be concerned about having to rescind a trust and creating an original one, like when altering a will.

Get Legal Assistance with Changing Your Will

It’s a good idea to regularly review your will and update it to show any changes to your assets or living situation. Get a hold of an estate planning attorney to assist you with changing your will, or to draft your first will should you not have one yet.


  1. Staff, F. L. (2021, March 3). Changing A will. Findlaw. Retrieved November 3, 2022, from

Attorney Arizona

There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.

You’ve worked hard for your life, and you need to protect it. You owe it to your family and your legacy to take care of planning now. Contact Ogborne Law to schedule your estate-planning session.

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