Orlando Estate Planning Lawyer

when should you update your will

Posted: April 20, 2021

For many adults, creating a will is necessary to ensure that their assets and family are taken care of after they pass away. Between creating an after-life plan and managing the distribution of personal assets such as property or finances, it is important to establish a will and consult an experienced legal professional on the document.

However, those who already have their will created may not realize that they need to update and maintain it periodically to ensure that the information in the document is correct and still adheres to their wishes. Below, we discuss different circumstances and situations when updating your will is vital, as well as related documents for emergency or end-of-life care.

Updating your Will after Life-Changing Events

Certain moments in your life are so important that they can change everything for both you and your family. These major life changes should be reflected in your will if they affect you or your loved ones in a significant way. Examples of these important changes or events that may lead to you updating your will include:

  • Having children
  • Having grandchildren
  • Getting married
  • Getting divorced
  • Death of a spouse or partner
  • Health problems
  • Moving to a new state 
  • Obtaining large sums of money or property

Depending on the life event, your will can be updated to include new information such as additional beneficiaries or assets. For example, if your son or daughter has recently been married, you may want to update the will to reflect a name change or to include their new spouse.

Other circumstances where you would adjust the information in your will are related to updated laws in your state, charitable donations, or a recent inheritance of assets. You can also update your will to include instructions for the care of your young child if you pass away, as well as naming a guardian for them. If you feel unsure about when to update the information in your will, speak with a lawyer you can trust who will walk you through the entire process step-by-step.

Do I Need a Living Will?

One common concern among adults is whether or not to create a living will for themselves in the event of poor health or serious injury. A living will, otherwise known as an advance directive or a directive to physicians, is a legal document that instructs family members and other medical staff on which actions should be taken for their health in the event that they are no longer to make decisions.

This document, which should be read in conjunction with a durable power of attorney, is just as important as a will that governs your assets. In a living will, you have the opportunity to decide which life-saving treatments you want to use and which ones you want to avoid, as well as other preferences for medical decisions like pain management or organ donation. 

Living wills can be especially important for those who have chronic health problems or are considered high-risk for certain conditions, as well as anyone who hopes to ensure that their wishes are respected if they require prolonged medical care. Much like a standard will, a living will should be updated and reviewed after major life events to ensure that your wishes are still the same.

Do I Need a Durable Power of Attorney?

Legally, power of attorney allows someone else to manage finances and assets on your behalf. When that power of attorney is considered durable, that same individual helps to manage your healthcare according to your wishes if you are unable to do so on your own as a result of an injury or medical condition. 

A durable power of attorney is utilized alongside a living will—even if you are expected to recover from the condition that is incapacitating you—because it outlines the steps that you want to take regarding your medical treatment. This can include surgeries you hope to avoid, medications you do not want to be administered (such as muscle relaxants or opioids), or any other method of treatment or therapy. 

Work with a Respected Will Lawyer in Orlando

Guaranteeing that both your family and assets will be taken care of after you pass away is an important part of life, and when it comes to planning your will, you should not have to do it alone. You need a lawyer you can trust who will walk you through the process step-by-step. At the office of Patriot Legal Group, we understand how complex and sensitive updating a will can be, and we are dedicated to ensuring that our clients feel comfortable and that their rights are protected.

Call us today at (407) 737-7222 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced legal professionals in Orlando, Florida.

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