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Why a will might expire or be ruled invalid

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2022 | Estate Planning, Wills |

Wills are used primarily to determine what happens to assets that remain in your Maryland estate after your passing. As a general rule, a will is valid from the moment it is executed. However, it is possible to revoke or otherwise render a current or previous version of such a document invalid.

How to invalidate a will

A will can be invalidated if changes are made to it. In such a scenario, the updated version of the document is the one that will be used in probate court. You can also choose to revoke a will if it no longer meets your needs. For example, you may choose to take this step after creating a trust or because beneficiary designations were already attached to your assets. In some cases, it may be possible to include language in the estate planning document stating that it will expire on a predetermined date.

Delay in probate

If a will is not probated in a timely manner, it may no longer be recognized by a probate judge. This may mean that people no longer have the right to inherit or otherwise obtain ownership of a home, car or other property previously owned by the testator. It may also call into question any appointments made to raise the decedent’s children or to oversee assets on their behalf until they reached the age of majority.

If your will is invalidated, it may make it difficult to carry out your final wishes in a timely manner. In fact, it may prevent your final wishes from being carried out at all. Reviewing your estate plan documents on a regular basis may ensure that your plan is structurally sound and capable of standing up to legal or other challenges.