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Robert N. Getz

Washington probate: Reasons to rethink your will

In a previous post, this column addressed creating a will. Washington residents who have already done that some time ago may think that their job is done. The truth is, there may be reasons to rethink and update a will. A probate law attorney can help with that.

Estate planning is rarely a one and done thing for most people -- particularly if the process is started when one is on the younger side. Life changes and a will should reflect those changes. A few examples of why one may want to revisit his or her will include:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Wish to change the guardian
  • Wish to change personal representative
  • Death of a beneficiary or representative
  • Asset changes

Really, the list can go on and on. It is possible to update one's will as often as one deems necessary, as long as a person is deemed competent enough to do so. When updating a will, there are a few ways to do it. Some people may revoke their current wills and start over from scratch while others may just need to make a few modifications. No matter how one goes about it, it is necessary to sign it in front of witnesses again to ensure its validity.

The purpose of a will is to make sure one's final wishes are known and carried out. That cannot happen if a will is not updated as one's life changes. Washington residents who have not looked at their wills in a while can turn to a probate attorney to get help reviewing them and making any changes deemed necessary.

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