Julie Hall

The Estate Lady

Julie Hall is an expert in dealing with personal property from the Depression era. Estate dissolution and helping grieving families make appropriate decisions during the estate settlement process are her specialties. She is a certified personal property appraiser, an estate sales professional, a residential content removal specialist, and a broker of fine items. As owner of The Estate Lady®, LLC, she brings 18 years of experience to families facing the overwhelming task of dissolving the family home.



Is It Time to Make a Change?

You can change or update a will at any time

By Julie Hall

How long has it been since you reviewed your will? Whether due to unsettling financial crisis or a “blessed event” in your family, it may be time to change it. There’s no time like the present to find your will and review your decisions and circumstances related to your final wishes.

You can change or update a will at any time. An amendment to the will is referred to as a codicil. I recommend you consult an attorney when you change a will, as some changes are considered minor, and some may require a completely new will.

Here are some reasons for updating a will:

  • The family changes because of birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, or death.
  • Major changes occur in the amount of property owned.
  • Tax laws change (federal and state).
  • Residence changes from one state to another.
  • The executor or guardian can no longer serve.
  • You decide—for any reason—to change the distribution of your property.

Remember, you must be careful to match the beneficiaries in your will to your other financial assets as well.

Two more important reminders:

  • Keep the original will in a safe place, such as a fireproof lock box or a bank safe deposit box.
  • Make sure the family knows where the will is kept. I recommend, as a precaution, that all members of the immediate family know where the will is kept. The executor should have a copy of the will or know where it is kept, and he or she should have a key to access the will immediately, if needed.

If you have taken my advice and created a master list of your valuable possessions, their estimated or appraised value, and whom you have chosen to receive each item, keep that master list with the original will. Be sure that the executor and the immediate family have a copy of the list.

By Julie Hall
The Estate Lady Blog

[First posted April 19, 2010, at Julie Hall's Estate Lady Web site.]

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