Many Maryland residents may have already taken steps to create their estate plans. Creating a will is an action that many individuals find beneficial, but they may also want to ensure that they keep such documents updated. Without necessary changes, there is a chance that the document could be contested, and surviving individuals may face litigation relating to the estate.
If individuals are looking to update their wills, there are different ways they could go about doing so. One option is to start from scratch and create a new will with the changes included. Another avenue is to create a codicil, or a witnessed change to an existing will. However, there is some caution warned for utilizing codicils because they could potentially be contested, especially if family members believe the changes were coerced.
After making a new will or changes to an existing will, individuals may wish to ensure that the old document has been destroyed. If a previous version of a will is found, there is potential that the previous version could be used to dispute the validity of an updated will. Having a single version of the document could save confusion in the future.
A person's life is rarely stagnant, and as a result, it is important to address life changes in pre-existing legal documents. A will that has not been updated could potentially lead to children missing out on an inheritance or an ex-spouse possibly still being considered a beneficiary, as well as a variety of other outcomes. Therefore, Maryland residents may wish to periodically review their estate planning documents with their attorneys and update them as they see fit.
Source: investorguide.com, "Is Your Estate Safe? Make Changes to Your Will in 6 Easy Steps", Jackson Cooper, Oct. 12, 2016