CAN A WILL STILL BE VALID IF A BENEFICIARY CHANGES THEIR NAME?
This depends on how the beneficiary was specified in the will. In order for a beneficiary to be properly included in a will, it must be undeniably clear that the legal document is referring to that person. The easiest way to do this is by specifying that person’s relationship to you in the will. For example, let’s say someone has an only child named Jane Smith. After the parent creates their will, Jane marries and changes her name to Jane Peterson. If the parent wishes to leave their estate to their child, they should have listed Jane as “my only daughter, Jane Smith”. Even if Jane’s last name has since changed, there is no other person that the will could be referring to. However, things change if the beneficiary is not specified enough in the will. If this is the case, the courts might invalidate or rectify the will, or the will might just be altered to remove the beneficiary.
WHY SHOULD I HIRE AN ESTATE LAWYER?
Yes, you should definitely hire an estate lawyer if you want to ensure the validity of your will. A talented attorney will be aware of the most common estate planning mistakes and therefore help you to expertly avoid them. They will also be well-versed in the best ways for you to protect your assets using various types of legal documents, such as wills and trusts. If a lawyer helps you to create your will, you won’t ever have to worry about a beneficiary changing their name because your lawyer will know how to specify them correctly. This ensures that even if a name-change occurs, the specification will make it clear who the will is referring to.
If you are considering creating a will in Iowa, you’ll need a dedicated estate attorney who has your best interests in mind. Thankfully, our highly experienced legal team is here to guide you through every step of the process! Contact Herting Law today for an initial consultation.