Events such as the birth or adoption of a child, marriage or divorce have major impacts on a person’s life. They can also majorly change one’s estate planning goals and needs.
Given this, it is important to remember that, if person formed a will prior to a major life event, the event will generally not automatically alter the will much on its own.
For one, under Florida law, life events like those mentioned above do not revoke a will. Wills remain in effect in the wake of such events.
Also, after a major life change, a will’s terms generally stay as enforceable as they previously were. A couple of exceptions under state law are that:
- Following a divorce, provisions regarding one’s now ex-spouse will generally be deemed void, unless the will directs that they be treated otherwise
- There are some special protections for a child that was born or a spouse that got married after a will’s formation
So, typically, there are not many automatic changes that occur to wills after major life events. However, given that your desires for what you would want an estate plan to do could significantly shift after such an event, major life changes can have the effect of causing a will to become out-of-date. Leaving a will out-of-date is very risky, as it can cause your estate plan to not be consistent with your wishes.
This underscores the importance of reviewing and updating wills after major life events. People can make changes to a will or replace it with a new one to reflect their evolving estate planning needs. Skilled estate planning attorneys can help individuals who have recently had major changes in their life with updating wills and other estate planning documents.