New Year, New Will

New Year, New Will

by Breck Murray, December 2009

One of the least discussed, but most important part of everyone's life is the creation and maintenance of a Final Will. In the New Year, people prefer to focus on the opportunities ahead. What they may not think about is how a will is the opportunity to ensure their final arrangements will be made according to their wishes. The New Year is an excellent time to examine that most vital of final documents for any necessary updates.

Changes in Property

The events of this past year have brought nothing if not major changes. Not the least were many changes in housing and business property. If you have sales, purchases or foreclosures, the beginning of the year is a great time to include those updates in your will. You or your accounting professional are probably already preparing for tax season, so it is likely that deeds and mortgage agreements are readily available. Further, changes of that magnitude will be foremost in your mind.

Changes in Relationships

Kimberly Price of says, "Persons should review their wills every five years or when there is a major event, such as marriage, a child added to the family, or a divorce occurs." New babies, whether your first or a sibling, will need to be provided for if you pass away while they are under eighteen. Further, the death or estrangement of your original Executor or Attorney-In-Fact will mean choosing another one. These considerations are even more important if you have a Living Will. You want to be sure that the person you appoint to handle your affairs if you become incapacitated is someone with whom you remain comfortable.

Other Changes

"If you die without a will, or intestate, the court steps in and distributes your property according to the laws of your state, which may or may not coincide with your wishes," states the Federal Citizen Information Center page on "Estate Planning." Since some laws differ from state to state, it is imperative that you update your will if you have moved. Finally, do not forget to put bequests to charities in writing, especially if you developed a relationship with one since your will was first written. Creating a will and keeping it up-to-date prevents a highly emotional time for your loved ones from becoming even more volatile in probate court or IRS offices. Though it may not be as exciting as making resolutions, an accurate will is the last loving gesture you make toward your family and friends. That is always an excellent way to start a New Year.

For more information, visit:

Colorado Connection: KXRM Fox 21

Federal Citizen Information