Why You Should Update Your Will This Holiday Season

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2019 | estate planning


The holiday season is a hectic time for most people. While there are a lot of things to buy and events to attend that may be occupying most of your time, it is important also to take the time to think about updating your estate plans. The end of the year is a great time to reassess your estate plans and to update your will. Even if you did not have a major change in your assets this year, it is vital to set aside time to review your estate plans each year to make sure things are still on track according to your wishes.

The California estate planning attorneys at Galanti and Copenhaver are here to help you update your will and other estate plans this holiday season. Our attorneys will handle all of the paperwork and the legal aspects of the updates so that you can relax and focus on your family and friends this holiday season. Contact our office today to schedule a meeting with one of our lawyers to move forward with updating your estate plans for the upcoming year 2020.

Making Changes to Your Will

It is beneficial to your estate to review your finances at the end of the year. Many people make modifications and updates to their wills over time, and the end of the year is the best time to do an annual review of your personal matters to decide if it is time to make an update.

In many cases, wills are revised to make a change to the named executor or guardian of any minor children. Another common update made to wills is to update and make changes to the beneficiaries named in the will. This can be necessary if more children or grandchildren are born, and you want to include them in your will. You may also want to update your will to add specific gifts, like property. Another major reason to update your will is to update names and addresses.

Other Reasons to Update Your Will

If you started or dissolved a business this year, it is important that you update your will to reflect these changes in your assets. You should also take the time at the end of the holiday season to consider whether your assets significantly changed-it may impact taxes, so it is a crucial consideration to protect you and your beneficiaries.

Additionally, if someone important to your estate plans, such as a beneficiary or the designated trustee, recently passed, you will want to make the necessary changes to address how you want to handle that situation in your will and other estate plans moving forward. Finally, if you have taken an interest in a new charity, the end of the year is a good time to update your will to include that charity as a beneficiary.

How to Make Changes to Your Will

After you have decided what changes need to be made to your will, the next step is to draft an amendment to your will, which is called a codicil. You cannot simply cross out terms and write in your changes. Rather, you must create a new document clearly stating these changes, which is the codicil. It will then be added to your will.

If you draft a codicil to your will, you must keep in mind that the codicil has to be executed with the same execution requirements for a valid will. These requirements can be found in the California Probate Code. Your attorney will be able to help you make sure that your changes are in accordance with California law and that they will be valid.

What Should I Do If I Have a Lot of Changes to Make to My Will?

When you complete your annual review of your assets and your estate plans, you may realize that you need to make substantial changes to your will. Your attorney will help you decide if it would be more beneficial under those circumstances to create a new will. In that case, you can have your old will revoked, and a new will prepared with your desired changes. The new will can then be executed in place of the old will.

Of course, if there are just a few minor changes to make, such as updating an address or a name change or two, you can just update and amend your current will rather than having to go with a new one. Your attorney will help you make the changes you wish to make, which will make the process go smoothly. Contact us today at 707-538-4711 or fill out our online contact form.