Should I we update our Will, Living Will and Power of Attorney?

Hi There,

My wife and I executed a Will, Living Will and Power of Attorney 11 years ago. Since then we acquired a rental property State of Connecticut where we live and our net worth had increased. In addition, these documents were specific for our state but were executed with witnesses and a public notary from a neighboring state. Should we re-do re-execute these documents?

Asked on March 13, 2016 under Estate Planning, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) Whether you need to redo your will for acquiring a new property depends on whether a) the will adequately addressed that property (e.g. there was some clause covering its distribution) and/or b) you are happy with who will get that property upon your death. If the answer to both subquestions a) and b) is "yes", you don't need to redo anything.
2) Similarly, you only need to redo a will for an increase in net worth if you're not happy with who will get how much under the will--maybe you want to leave some of the increase to charity, or to a different relative, for example, rather than rely on the distribution in the existing will.
3) Out-of-state witnesses and notary are acceptable--you don't need to redo the will for that reason.
Basically, while it's always a good idea to periodically review a will, to see if it does cover any changes in your situation and you're still happy with its distributions, you really only need to actually change if it the will doesn't cover your new situation or if your wishes change.
The same principle applies to the living will and POA--look them over, but you only need to change them if they no longer meet your needs or reflect your wishes.


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