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Situations when you need to change your will

A will is not a "static" document. At different points in your life, you'll need to change or update your will, perhaps depending on the number of children and grandchildren you have, your marital status or other changing life circumstances that could affect both your estate and the people who will inherit your estate.

The following are some common circumstances in which you will need to change or alter your will:

-- Getting married: You'll need to update your will to reflect your new marriage and how you would like your estate to be inherited by your new wife and other heirs.

-- Getting divorced: If you were recently divorced, you may need to update your will to reflect your new status as a single person. You probably will not want your ex-wife to be treated in the same way as she was treated when you were married.

-- A birth in the family: Whether it's your child or your grandchild, you may want to update your will so you don't leave this new family member out of your estate plan.

-- A new stepchild: We often bring our stepchildren under our wings as if they were our own. However, your stepchild may not be able to receive any inheritance from you unless you specifically name him or her in your will.

-- Moving to a new state: If you establish permanent residency in a new state, new inheritance laws could apply. You may need to draft a new will to reflect the laws of your new home.

-- Changing your mind: You might change your mind about who should receive what depending on changing relationships and feelings about your family members and heirs.

Tennessee residents who want to change their wills need to do so in a legally appropriate manner to ensure that their new will can hold up against any challenges in court. It's always risky to update or change a will when you could be construed to be infirm or under the influence of another person. As such, always discuss your plans to change your will with a qualified attorney who can help you do it in a sound and legally appropriate fashion.

Source: FindLaw, "Changing a will," accessed May 31, 2017

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