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Top 10 Reasons to Change Your Will

Posted by attorney Jason McGrath
  1. You don’t have a will. (So having one would be a change!)

  2. Your marital status has changed. (Do you really still want your ex getting all your stuff?)

  3. You have moved to a new state. (It’s possible that not every part of your New York will would be enforceable once you get old & cranky, move to Florida, start playing golf five times a week and eat dinner at 4:30 p.m.)

  4. Your family has grown. (I’m mainly referring to having a child, not the 25 pounds you may have packed on.)

  5. You don’t like your family any longer. (Unfortunately, ill will – pun intended - within families is one of the primary motivators for will changes.)

  6. You no longer own certain items specified in your will. (If you thought you were going to make Junior happy by passing your ’65 Mustang onto him but then had to sell it when your Enron stock went bad, Junior may be left empty handed.)

  7. The beneficiaries of your will have had significant life changes. (If Niece Belinda has quit the symphony orchestra for good and moved to Amsterdam, do you really want to give her the Stradivarius, knowing she may just parlay it into some top grade Dutch hash?)

  8. Your financial situation has changed. (Given that your Enron stock didn’t work out so well and you’re now living hand-to-mouth, does that third cousin on your mother’s side really need something, or do you want to focus what you have left on your kids?)

  9. You aren’t the same person you used to be. (I don’t mean this in a Chastity / Chaz Bono kind of way – at least not for most of you. I mean that, over time, your own values and decisions about what you want to do with your belongings may have changed.)

  10. Elvis has left the building. (The reality is that we sometimes outlive those whom we thought would outlive us. If one of the potential beneficiaries has passed on, you may want to update your will.)

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