FAQs: Review of Existing Wills in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and The Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Area
Estate planning lawyers with offices in Berwyn, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Wilmington Delaware, Georgetown Delaware, and The Metropolitan Washington, D.C. area
McAndrews Law Offices has provided families with estate planning advice since 1982. To educate clients about their estate planning options, our knowledgeable attorneys have published interesting articles on last wills and have answered many of the most frequently asked questions about the topics below.
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Consult PA, DE, MD, and Washington, D.C. area estate planning lawyers at McAndrews Law Offices at 610.648.9300 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
- Is my will current?
- Does my will represent my current wishes?
- Is my will valid under my present circumstances?
- Have I properly stored my will?
- Does my legal representative know the location of my will?
This is a critical question. A will you created many years ago may no longer address your current needs because of changes in your family’s financial and personal circumstances. An out-of-date will can sometimes actually create more problems for your loved ones than not having a will at all. Tax laws frequently change, and the size and value of your assets may change as well. You should update your will to reflect your evolving life circumstances and the recent tax developments and new estate planning techniques.
Usually, a family’s economic and personal circumstances change dramatically over a period of five to 10 years. For example, your estate may have grown beyond the amount you possessed when you drafted your current will, or you may no longer have dependents who live at home and rely on you for their support. Tax laws also change, sometimes in very significant ways. If changes have occurred in your personal life or substantial time has passed since you drafted your current will, consider updating your will.
The importance of your will to your surviving family members cannot be overemphasized. Reputable estate planning attorneys should review your current will in these circumstances:
- Have you moved to a different state or country since you created your last will?
- Was your previous will handwritten without the assistance of competent counsel?
- Did you obtain the appropriate number of valid signatures on your will?
Your will should be maintained in a safe, accessible location where your executor can easily find it upon your death. Your personal situation determines the proper location for your will, and you should discuss this issue with your attorney.
Once you’ve selected a proper place to store your will, advise your executor of its location. It is also useful to maintain a list of accounts, assets and other financial and personal information with your will and to provide funeral instructions to your executor and to a trusted family member.