Creating an estate plan requires numerous steps and decisions. Tennessee residents have many options regarding the creation of their wills and other documents and usually do not want to have to go through the process multiple times as the years pass. However, a periodic review of an estate plan is a good idea, and it may reveal the need for change.
Tennessee residents will need to identify any specific bequests in their wills. If the property is sold, given away, lost or stolen, it will affect the provisions of the will. If the party receiving a particular piece of property dies or is no longer in the life of the person who created the will, a change may need to be made in order to avoid any confusion during the probate process.
Making substantive changes such as removing or adding beneficiaries often requires the execution of a new will, which will need to comply with current state law. However, if an individual only needs to make a minor change to the will such as changing the executor or changing the name of a recently married loved one, a codicil may be used. It should be noted that codicils often require the same legal compliance necessary for the execution of a will, so it may be easier just to execute a new will depending on the circumstances.
When individuals need to make changes to existing wills, it would be advisable to make sure it is done properly. If the appropriate steps are not followed, beneficiaries or heirs could bring the validity of the will into question. In order to limit the potential for this eventuality, anyone wanting to change the provisions of his or her will may want to do with the assistance of an attorney.