Estate lawyers and experts will always recommend people continue updating their wills or other estate documents, especially when a big change happens in their lives. Updating or amending a will is important to reflect a person’s real, most recent wishes and make things easier for the beneficiaries when the will goes through probate.
However, there’s a lot of concern about what specific life changes warrant an update or amendment on a will. Grandparents, for example, wonder if they need to make changes of their will if a new grandchild is born into the family.
Do You Have to Update Your Will If Your Family Has Expanded?
There is no need to make updates or amendments in a will because of a family expansion, i.e. more children are born into the family. This is because a will effectively overrides the default rules set forth by intestacy statutes.
The writer of the will can define things in any way they want to. A will can list “children” as beneficiaries, and that can define the person’s current children, future born or adopted children, etc. It works the same way with grandkids and other descendants.
A person’s right to define things in their will in any way they please comes with the benefit of not having to list all their children or descendants. Instead, one can simply say “children” or “grandchildren” in the will, and it will be defined as all children or grandchildren, including future born or legally adopted descendants.
Hence, having new members of the family does not immediately warrant a change or amendment to a will or other estate document.