Signs of spring are popping up all over Georgia. Homeowners are cleaning out closets to make way for new things and planting flowers to add curb appeal. In addition to these traditional spring tasks, many also recognize the need to take a closer look at their families’ wills to make sure they are in keeping with current wishes.

The purpose of a will is to identify who will be responsible for taking care of one’s estate upon death. Additionally, the will specifies who will inherit what. This document is helpful in making sure that the individual’s wishes are fulfilled and in minimizing family controversy regarding the individual’s estate. As such, if a will has yet to be drafted, now is a good time to take care of this matter.

In some cases, the will was drafted years ago. Over time, assets and relationships change. It is possible that items addressed in the will are no longer part of the estate or that new items have been added. Additionally, it is possible that relationships have changed and a different beneficiary would be more appropriate. Spring is a good time to review the current will to see if updates should be made.

Finally, there are some assets for which a beneficiary form will take precedence. For example, bank accounts, retirement accounts and other investments accounts typically have beneficiary forms on file specifying who will inherit upon the death of the account holder. In most cases, these beneficiary forms will take precedence over any wills which may have been created by the Georgia resident. Experienced legal counsel can assist in reviewing the individual’s documents and desires and then recommending what actions need to be taken.

Source: Forbes, “7 Areas Of Your Financial Life That May Need Some Spring Cleaning“, Erik Carter, March 18, 2018