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Do wills need to be reviewed and updated every two years

Huntingdon, PA |

Will has already been finalized and signed April 1, 2011. Does it need to be reviewed and initialed and dated every two years to stay in effect.

Attorney Answers 4


No. Although it is a good idea to periodically review your estate plan and adjust it for changes in your family and finances. Once signed, a will remains in effect until it is revoked.

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A Will remains valid once signed as long as it was properly witnessed. After that it is not wise to make changes, marks or to write on a Will as it may invalidate it.

It is wise to think about your assets and family situation every couple of years as changes might be in order.

Because of the significant changes in the economy during the past 5 years I am now suggesting that my clients visit me every two or three years. However I have prepared Health Care And Property Powers of Attorney and Living Trusts for many of my clients. The more involved the documents - the more often a review should be conducted.

Best wishes.

Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his answers to AVVO inquiries are based on his understanding of Illinois law only. His answers are for general information about perceived legal issues within this question only and no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to extend any right of confidentiality between you and Mr. Smolinski, to constitute legal advice, or create an attorney/client or other contractual relationship. An attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement including an evaluation of the specific legal problem and review of all the facts and documents at issue. We try to insure the accuracy of this information, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The reader should never assume that this information applies to his or her specific situation or constitutes legal advice. Therefore, please consult competent counsel that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.

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As previously stated, nothing needs to be done to an existing will to renew its effectiveness. In fact, just the opposite is true—the will remains effective until something is done to revoke the will (generally, making a new will). You should review your will with your attorney every few years, or following any major changes in your life (birth/death of a new family member, sale/purchase of a home, etc.). The will remains valid if you don't periodically review it, but an outdated will may have unintended consequences or not work as you had originally planned.

My answer to your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. Furthermore, I have not reviewed any laws or cases related to your question in formulating my answer. I am simply providing my "gut reaction" based on the facts as you described.

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Use your best judgment. If there has been changes in your estate or in your wishes, then I'd suggest having an updated will is something you should consider.

Good luck!

Thomas A. Schaeffer, Esq. Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216, San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 This posting is provided for "informational purposes" only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principals discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different States.

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