Your will is not a static document but rather a reflection of your current intentions—a reality that makes it important to revisit all your estate planning documents anytime something changes in your life. One such change is when you wish to write a person out of your will. This desire can be benevolent (i.e. writing out a former spouse) or not so benevolent (i.e. writing out a sibling you are feuding with) – but because of the major consequences that come with writing someone out of your will, you should always consult with an estate planning attorney before doing so. The Law Offices of Christopher B. Johnson can help.
Here are some important questions to ask when you are considering writing someone out of your will:
Why am I writing this person out of my will?: When writing a person out of your will comes from a place of anger, figure out if you truly want to deal with the permanency of a decision like this. You may also want to take a look at the impact writing him or her out of your will might have on all parties involved.
What was his or her role in my will and who do I want to replace them?: Using a former spouse as an example for this question shows you just how important working with an attorney is in this process—think about the major role he or she played in the financial aspect of your estate plan and also in medical and other important life decisions in your life. While it is natural to write him or her out, make sure you think about who will take over this place in your will and how you might want to structure it—this is especially true when you are not remarried and might want to shift things among multiple people.
Is this something you should have a conversation with the person about?: While you might not need to have a conversation following a divorce, you might want to think about having one when you are writing out a child or sibling. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you figure out how to make this a productive conversation.
Have other things changed in your life?: For many people, reviewing your estate plan does not happen nearly enough. When you see the Christopher B. Johnson about this matter, it also represents a great chance to go over any other things that have changed in your life to make sure that your estate plan is completely up to date.
If you are in need of estate planning or will services in Pasadena, get in touch with the Law Offices of Christopher B. Johnson today. With over two decades of estate planning experience, we can help you update your will and effectuate the changes you wish to see. We look forward to hearing from you.