Estate Planning Law

Is Your Will Out of Date?

Do you have a will that’s out of date? If so, you may want to update it. Not only is a will needed for legal purposes, but it also keeps your family and creditors informed of your assets. A will also can help protect your estate if you die, ensuring that your assets go where you want them. But if your will is out of date, there could be important life changes that have taken place that need to be reflected on your will. 

In this guide, you will learn the importance of updating your will and what steps to take to ensure that it’s done properly. If you’re not sure whether your will is out of date, now is the time to check.

What Is a Will and Why Should You Update It if You Have One?

A will is a legal document that outlines whom you would like to take care of your assets if you die. Moreover, a will is also important for your family and creditors to know who is going to be handling the assets in the event that something happens to you.

When creating your will, it’s important to keep in mind the following:

1. The amount of information you need to include in order to maintain your estate
2. The legal requirements for wills
3. What type of property you own and how it should be distributed
4. Your heirs’ preferences
5. Your current state of affairs

One of the biggest changes to the will process was that it’s now legal to be in the form of an electronic document in certain states. Florida is one such state that allows this. Given that so much of the world takes place on the internet, it’s to be expected that wills eventually took this route, as well. And as such, there’s new information that you might want to consider including in your digital will format. 

In addition to dealing with a digital document, the updated will can include your valid email address on file and a password-protected account. This will allow your family to close out any online accounts you might have, such as PayPal, Facebook, bank accounts, and more. There’s really no limit to what you choose to give your family control over.

Other considerations when updating your will for the modern era include:

Digital Inventory Footprint: This should include any online accounts you have, including social media, email, photo storage, blogs, and more.

Instructions Pertaining to These Accounts: You want to make sure that your family understands your wishes pertaining to these online accounts. Do you want to give someone permission to continue them, or would you prefer they be closed out completely? The only way to communicate your wishes is to draft instructions detailing your wishes.

Choose Your Digital Executor: You need to choose someone responsible who can effectively manage your online affairs after you die. Your digital will need to reflect your wishes, and there should be an alternate listed, as well. This person can take over the digital executor role in the event that something happens to them and they’re no longer able to care for your online accounts.

Proper Storage: Your digital will needs to be stored somewhere that’s easily accessible to your executor once you die. But it also needs to be secure so that only those you give access to in your will can access your wishes. 

How to Fix a Will That’s Out of Date

If you’re looking to update your will, make sure you know the updated will requirements for the digital age. These new guidelines may change how your will is prepared and might even require changes to your estate plan. Before making any changes, be sure to speak with a wills lawyer to get a full understanding of the will requirements and what you need to do in order to prepare your estate.

Moreover, your wills lawyer will provide essential direction to ensure that you prepare your will according to new standards.  If you’re unsure whether your existing will needs to be updated, speak with a will lawyer to help you determine as much. If changes need to be made to include family members, remove them, or any other considerations, your wills lawyer can help. 

Call Doane & Doane for Help Updating Your Will

Wills can be complex matters that require the experience and expertise of a wills lawyer. At Doane & Doane, we specialize in helping clients update their wills to reflect current life events and other matters.

So if you need a wills lawyer in Southeast Florida, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Please feel free to contact us at 561-656-0200. You may also fill out our online contact form to arrange a consultation.

The information in this blog post is for reference only and not legal advice. As such, you should not decide whether to contact a lawyer based on the information in this blog post. Moreover, there is no lawyer-client relationship resulting from this blog post, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you need legal counsel, please consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.