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Changing a will involves other estate documents, too

At many points in your life, you may need to review and amend your will to reflect significant life events, changes in relevant laws or changes in your wishes for your estate. It is usually wise to review your will every three to five years to ensure that your will remains valid and up-to-date, especially considering how often shifting legislation may affect the terms of the document.

However, it is also important to understand that merely amending your will is often not sufficient to protect your interests. Estate planning often includes many other interdependent documents that work together to provide certain protections or benefits. If you amend your will without also considering any alterations you may need to make to these associated documents, you may simply create a tangled mess of terms that cannot be executed well when the time comes.

In many cases, these documents involve specific parties whom you name as beneficiaries. If you alter a beneficiary of asset in your will but not in the appropriate document for that asset, the will change not only fails to redirect the asset, but it may open your will up to costly and emotionally-damaging conflicts between your beneficiaries.

Don't gamble with your estate by addressing only part of the issue. Maintaining a valid will and estate plan is a complex, ongoing process that requires in-depth understanding of many issues. If you do not navigate the process carefully, your seat and beneficiaries may suffer needlessly. An experienced estate planning attorney is an excellent resource of guidance for gaining a detailed understanding of these complex issues, ensuring that you have the tools you need to protect the ones you love and make your wishes clear.

Source: FindLaw, "Changing a Will," accessed March 02, 2018

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