If names of children change, does a new Will need to be written?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If names of children change, does a new Will need to be written?

My 2 oldest daughters are named as executor and guardian of my minor children in my Will. They have been divorced and remarried so their names have changed. Does my Will need to be re-done?

Asked on January 2, 2012 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that legally it is not necessary to do anything in such a situation; there is no legal requirement to do so. A change of name does not prevent someone from receiving an inheritance under a Will (or any other benefits, assets, distributions, proceeds, etc. for that matter). The key is whether or not the named beneficiary would be difficult to locate and/or identify due to their name change; then it might well be advisable to make changes to the Will.

However, if you feel strongly that you want your Will to reflect your daughters' current last names, then instead of drafting a whole new Will you could simply execute a "codicil" (i.e. amendment) to the Will. This is something that you yourself could attempt. However, to be sure that all state requirements were complied with, you may want to consult with an attorney first. In fact, if some time has passed since you drafted your Will, it's always advisable to have an attorney review it. There could have been life changes that will necessitate drafting a new one. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption