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What if I do not update my will after a marriage or new child?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Creating an estate plan is a responsible and wise step for Floridians. However, the document might need to be periodically updated to ensure that every eventuality is covered. This is especially true if people experience major life changes after their will was executed.

For people who are in this situation, it is important to understand how loved ones might be affected by the failure to update a will. For help with this issue or anything else related to estate planning, having advice is essential.

How is a new wife or child impacted if a will was not updated?

If a person already had a will in place and they got married or had a child after its execution, it is generally advisable to update the will to reflect the new circumstances. Some people either hesitate before doing so or put it off. If that is the case and the testator dies before they have updated the will, the law is clear on how the new spouse or child – through birth or adoption – is viewed.

The previous will is not revoked due to the new marriage or child. However, upon the testator’s death, even if the original will is still in effect, the new spouse and child will receive what they would have received if the testator did not have a will at all and died intestate.

The only exceptions regarding the spouse are if there was a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement; the spouse is provided for in the will; or the will specifically states the spouse is not to be part of it. Regarding children, the exceptions are if the omission was done intentionally or the testator had a child or other children at the time of the will’s execution and left the estate to the other parent.

Estate planning and updating a will can be as important as creating a will

Since these issues can be complicated at the time of the testator’s death, it may be better to update the will because of the marriage or having a child. Still, people who have not done that and have a will in place should know how their spouse and child will be impacted.

With this or any other aspect of estate planning, it is imperative to understand the ramifications and address them accordingly. Having legal help can be useful in avoiding difficulties.