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Can a will expire or become outdated?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Estate Administration & Probate |

If you draft a will, you may end up doing it well in advance. Maybe you’re just in your 50s, and you expect to have 25 or 30 more years of life ahead of you. But you know that it’s wise to create an estate plan in advance, so you go ahead and do so.

One important thing to remember is that a will can’t expire. As soon as you turn 18, you can legally draft an estate plan. It’s never too early to do so. Even if you draft the estate plan at 18 and don’t touch it again for the rest of your life, it would still be legally binding.

That being said, an estate plan that has been neglected for a significant amount of time could certainly be outdated. Updates may be necessary. 

Why does this happen?

There are many reasons why estate plans become outdated. For one thing, the assets that you own can change significantly. You may inherit money from your parents, sell assets that you own, pay money to creditors or see your own income bracket change significantly as your career advances. You need to update the estate plan whenever these assets change.

Your health is also an issue that you want to consider. If you’re diagnosed with an illness, it may be wise to create documents like a medical power of attorney or an advanced directive. You can also update the plan if your health conditions change or if you run into more complications in the future.

So, just because a will doesn’t expire does not mean that it won’t become outdated. It’s important to make updates periodically and understand exactly what legal steps to take.