The primary purpose of a will is to name beneficiaries. However, some people believe that a will isn’t necessary since when a person dies intestate (without a will), the state will distribute assets and pay debts during the probate process. Unfortunately, the state pays little attention to the real-life relationships between the decedent and their beneficiaries. State intestacy laws dictate the distribution of assets to the next of kin, but there are many situations where this isn’t preferable.
For example, say you and your spouse had one child before your spouse passed away. You then remarried and neglected to create a will to distribute your assets according to your wishes. If you die, your entire estate will go to your second spouse as your next of kin, and your child will get nothing. If they’re lucky, they will receive your assets once their stepparent dies. However, once the stepparent owns your assets, they can then will them to their own children or relatives.
Without a will, you risk your intended beneficiaries losing all rights to your estate. Outlining your beneficiaries in a will with the help of a Rocklin property attorney is the first step to protecting your loved ones after your death.
Making Changes or Updates to Your Will
Many people live for years or even decades between the creation of their will and their death. During this time, circumstances can easily change, resulting in additional assets, beneficiaries, and other decisions that can affect the contents of a will. In addition, if you have included individuals in your will who died before you, the process to distribute your assets becomes much more complicated. If your circumstances have changed, you can alter or update your will with the help of a legal representative.
You may make a change to:
- Add or remove a beneficiary
- Add, change, or remove your executor
- Update property holdings and assets
Many people seek to make a change in their will after they get married, get divorced, have children, or suffer a loss. The more your will reflects your current circumstances when you die, the more help it will be to your family and beneficiaries. As a result, it’s best to review your will after every major life event or every ten years if no major events occur in the meantime.
It’s never too early to draft a will. These documents can have a significant positive impact on your family, making the probate process swifter and streamlining the distribution of your assets. For expert guidance regarding will creation as well as comprehensive estate planning, you can trust the Rocklin wills lawyers at McCunn Law. Contact us today to request a consultation.