We are often asked by clients whether or not wills expire? The short answer is “No, they technically don’t,” but it’s not that simple. As with most things in life, the truth lies somewhere in the gray area, summed up best with the good old lawyerly adage of “it depends.”

Let’s take the case of a person who had their last will and testament drafted ten years ago. At this time, the individual was a carefree, adventure-loving, thrill-seeking single person with no care or responsibility in the world. Fast forward the clock to the present day, now that same person is grounded, married, established in their career, with two young children, a new home, and a baby on the way. As you can see, life’s circumstances have greatly changed, which would require an overhaul of their last will and testament.

Wills technically do not expire, but they can become outdated if enough circumstances in life have changed since creating the will. For any estate plan to truly work for you, it must stay current and relevant to your life. Thus, we recommend visiting an estate planning attorney every three to five years to ensure that your will is still legally valid and effective in distributing your assets to the right people.

A typical will include the following:

  • How should your assets be distributed, and to whom
  • Who gets what, and how much
  • Who should care for your minor children (under age 18) and pets
  • Details for funeral arrangements
  • Who is the executor of your will
  • Do you have an alternate or successor executor named
  • What will happen to your primary residence/properties

Is Your Will Still Legally Valid?

Even though your current will does not have an expiration date, numerous factors and technicalities could affect your will’s validity:

  • Previous wills were not destroyed or legally revoked
  • Undue influence, duress or fraud
  • You have a prenuptial agreement
  • You got divorced
  • The will was not properly witnessed or notarized
  • You lacked testamentary capacity
  • Your will was not in writing

A will is one of the most important documents you will ever make for both you and your loved ones. The attorneys at the Kazi Law Firm, PLLC, have valuable experience preparing wills for families and individuals. We strive to give our clients peace of mind when thinking of how their hard-earned assets will be passed down to the next generation. Don’t hesitate to call us today to discuss your specific scenario and allow us to customize a comprehensive estate plan created just for you.