When and how to change beneficiaries

People in Michigan who have a will should regularly review the assets in it as well as the named beneficiaries. This is especially true during life-changing events, as this may call for the need to make changes regarding who the property and other assets are left to. This can save a lot of heartache and legal battles later on down the line.

According to FindLaw, there are a number of situations that may warrant the changing of a will. Marriage is an obvious consideration. Although a percentage of the estate will be awarded to the spouse upon your death in most states, by specifically stating your wishes this guarantees they will receive what you lay out in your will. Divorce is another great reason to revise your will. If your spouse was originally the beneficiary for much of your estate, you will need to name a new heir if you do not want the spouse included. Other reasons to consider changes include:

  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • New assets
  • Moving to a new state
  • Gaining stepchildren

The American Bar Association states a will can be changed at any time as long as the person is competent mentally and physically. This change is called a codicil, and it needs to be done in a formal matter. The new information must be amended in the same fashion as when the will was initially made, and the changes need to be dated. If there are many modifications, an attorney may advise you to draft a brand new will and revoke the current one.