Can a Will that was written maybe 20 years ago be expired or no good and have to go through probate?

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Can a Will that was written maybe 20 years ago be expired or no good and have to go through probate?

I am being told a Will that has been written is no good because it is old and the wording is not up to today’s standards.

Asked on May 16, 2017 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Wills do not expire. Many, if not most, are years old when they are entered into probate. As long as it was valid at the time that it was executed, it is valid now. That having been said, if the "testator" (i.e. the person who wrote the Will) is still alive, they may want to update the Will due to possible changes in life circumstnaces, etc. (e.g. changing a beneficiary who has themselves already passed, etc.).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Wills do NOT expire or go stale, and it is common for wills to be written decades before they are needed. It also does not matter if the language is not up to today's "standards." So long as the will was properly executed, witnessed, etc. according to your state's laws, it is valid.


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