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The importance of updating your will

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Drafting a will and ensuring its validity is essential to the estate planning process. With a valid will in place, you can rest assured that your loved ones will receive the assets you want them to have following your death.

Many people think that once they have created their will, they do not have to look at it again for the rest of their lives. However, failing to update your will may cause complications when it comes time to distribute your assets. For that reason, estate planning experts suggest updating your will every three to five years or when a major life event occurs.

Common reasons to update your will may include:

  • Moving to a new state
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Changes in relationships with beneficiaries
  • Purchasing or selling a home or other large asset
  • The birth of a child/grandchild
  • Changes in the law

How to update a will in Washington

There are a few ways for you to make changes to your existing will under Washington law. Your first option is to create a new will, in which you will have to revoke any previous versions of your will. You can then physically destroy your old will (both the original and any copies).

You also have the option to create a new will and specify that only certain provisions of your old will should be revoked. You will then have to destroy the parts of the old will that have been revoked.

Finally, you have the option to amend your existing will by drafting a codicil. A codicil must adhere to the same requirements as a will. You will also have to reference your original will in your codicil.

Updating your will regularly in accordance with the law can save your loved ones a lot of trouble in the future.