man signing document

When you finally create a will, you may feel as though a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Not only can you rest assured knowing your loved ones are cared for but you may be excited to never have to think about estate planning again. However, it’s imperative to understand that estate planning never truly ends. Though creating a will is often one of the most extensive aspects, you must continue to update and amend your will as necessary. If you’re unsure why you would need to or how to change the terms and conditions of your will, it’s imperative to connect with a Pasco County, FL wills & trusts lawyer for additional assistance. Keep reading to learn more about these matters.

Why Might I Need to Amend a Will?

Though you may assume your will is set in stone once you sign, this is not true. In reality, there are a number of reasons one may need to change how their will is written. Generally, any time there is a considerable change to your family, such as a marriage, divorce, death or birth, you may need to update your document to reflect the change to your beneficiaries.

Additionally, if you purchase or sell real estate, ensuring your will reflects these changes is critical. After all, you can’t leave a property you no longer own to a beneficiary, and you’ll want to ensure any new purchases have a beneficiary to go to upon your passing.

What Can I Do to Make Changes?

If you need to make a change to your will, understanding your options is critical. Generally, you have two choices. The first is to create a codicil. This is essentially an amendment you can attach to your will explaining the changes. However, this is not as simple as attaching a sticky note to the document, as you must ensure it is legally binding. Additionally, this is only recommended for minor adjustments.

When you must make significant changes to your will, adding too many codicils can be confusing. As such, the other option available is to create a new will. This can seem overwhelming to many, but it is important to understand that when you must make considerable alterations, this is generally the best course of action as it reduces confusion to ensure your wishes are adhered to.

Is It Necessary to Consult a Lawyer?

If you have determined that you need to make changes to your will, whether it’s via a codicil or creating a new document, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you may find that trying to make changes on your own puts the entirety of your will at risk, as you may make errors that render it invalid and unenforceable.

At the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna, P.A., we know that updating your estate plan can seem overwhelming. That’s why our team is here to make this process as easy as possible for you. Connect with us today to learn how we can guide you when you need to amend your will.