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When changes in will beneficiaries are needed

Residents in Michigan may benefit from learning more about some of the facts pertaining to changing beneficiaries on a will. There are several different scenarios that can lead to such changes being necessary. A will can become outdated or obsolete depending on when the will was signed by the testator. Other times, testators may simply change their mind about how they want to allocate the assets.

Individuals are advised to occasionally review their will to ensure the provisions coincide with recent changes concerning any last wishes. In order for the will to be legally binding, the nature of the relationship between the testator and the beneficiary may need to be stated explicitly. Other identification information such as full name and current address should be included on the will as well. A change in marital status has an impact on changing beneficiaries to a will in many states.

Most testators are advised to revise their will once they decide to marry. Even if the testator fails to modify a will formed before marriage, there are still protections in place for the new spouse. In many states, the will may be partially revoked to ensure that the new spouse receives a stake in the estate. Marriage may not change a will's beneficiaries in some states because spouses are provided with protections under statute.

People who need more information about wills and estate planning may benefit from contacting legal counsel who may be able to provide assistance with estate administration or acting as an executor of the will. Legal counsel may also be to provide guidance and help ensure that all modifications to the will are properly completed so the document remains valid.

Source: National Paralegal College, "Changes in Beneficiaries", November 17, 2014

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