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Taxation & Estate Planning: Estate Planning and Elder Law
Do you know where your Will is?
By Leanna Hamill, Esq.
I often meet with clients who have Wills that were drawn up 20, or more, years ago. Usually the clients have copies of the Will and the originals are with the attorney who drafted the Will. And many times the clients have moved around since the original drafting, and many more times the attorney has moved offices, or even retired. Did you think to tell your attorney from 20 years ago when you moved last year? What if he or she was retiring or passed away and the attorney taking over the files needed to notify you? Would they be able to find you?
If you do not have your original Will, make sure you check with the attorney who does have it to make sure they have your current contact information to be able to notify you in the event that they move their office, or are retiring. Even better, have your old Will reviewed to make sure that it is still an accurate reflection of your wishes, that the people you appointed as Executor are still around, and that your planning needs have not changed in the last 20 years, which they probably have. If you had small children when you first drafted the Will, chances are they won't be needing those guardians that you appointed in the Will, and you may even want one of your children to act as Executor now. And if you are nearing retirement, facing a long term illness or have a child with special needs or addictions you need to know what types of protections are available to you and your family.
So find your Will (the original), dust it off, and have it looked at by an attorney. You'll be glad you did.