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Revoke Your Prior Will

Reasons to Update and Clauses You Probably Need but Might Not Have

Any good will should have a revocation clause. A will should not be thought of as set in stone. Times and circumstances change. You should review and change your will on a regular basis in order to keep it current. You may not realize that it should be modified whenever something changes in your life. And when it does change, make sure the new will revokes the old one under Pennsylvania law.

Here are some common reasons to change your will:

Personal Changes

  • A change in marital status
  • Divorce
  • Birth of a child, great grandchild, or the addition of step-children, or grandchildren
  • Moving to another State (each states laws on wills may be different)

Financial Changes

  • Receiving an inheritance
  • Buying a new home
  • Creating, buying, or selling a business
  • Natural growth of assets and investments through time

Legal Changes

  • Changes in Pennsylvania law
  • Changes in Income Tax law
  • Changes in Federal Law

Key Players Change’s

  • Death of a spouse
  • Death of another beneficiary
  • You want to change or include other beneficiaries or an executor
  • A trustee, guardian, or executor is no longer appropriate

It is important that your will state your most recent intentions. And that when you update a will, you also review your beneficiary designation and assets to ensure that the planning still works to accomplish your specific desires.

So how do you revoke your will?

Do you cross out what you don’t want and write in your changes?

No, this is not a good way to revoke your will. The court may have a hard time understanding what part of the will you want and what part you do not want, and what if they misread what you have crossed out or have written changes that can be interpreted in different ways. Also, state laws might not interpret these changes in the same way as you or might invalidate them for failing to comply with the formalities of creating a valid will.

The best way to change your will is by either revoking your current will and writing a new one or executing a codicil to the will for minor changes. A codicil is a formal supplement to your will and must follow the same rules and regulations your will had to adhere to.

Having a revocation clause, a statement indicating your intent to revoke any prior wills, will protect your intentions in case an old will is found or someone still has copies of an old will or codicils.

A will is a way to have your intentions carried out after you are gone. Make sure that you update your will when needed and when you do, that  you have a revocation clause so your most recent intentions are followed. Remember when there is a major change in your life make sure your will reflects that or your will may not end up working how you want it to.

David M. Frees III

P.S. Are you unsure if your will is up to date? As a client or reader of Unruh, Turner, Burke, and Frees Attorney’s at Law’s  Estate and Trust Blog, you qualify to claim one of our free will reviews. These reviews are scheduled during the summer months.

However, days are limited in number and once the will review days are full you will have to call for a separate appointment.

If you have been wanting to see if your will is outdated or needs an update you can get a free twenty minute will review. Even if we did not draft your will.

You will only be billed if you later decide to hire the firm to help you. But the will and advice are free. We hope to see you.

P.P.S. For a free will review by David M. Frees III or Douglas Kaune call 610-933-8069 to find an available will review date and time.

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