When To Update Our Wills: Newly married with a new baby.

Mom and Baby

Q: I was recently married and we just had a baby. My husband has a Will that he had prepared before we were married leaving everything to his sister. Is that will still effective or should he make a new one? If he doesn’t update it, will everything actually go to his sister?

A: It is very important to update Wills and account beneficiaries upon the occurrence of a significant life event such as a marriage or the birth of a baby. Especially if the previous will or beneficiary designation would operate to leave assets to the wrong person.

In your case, your husband’s Will would leave his assets to his sister and I’m sure, now that he is married, that isn’t what he would want. The same may also be true if he has his sister designated as a beneficiary on a retirement account or life insurance or both.

As his wife, if he were to die without making the change, you would be forced to commence a probate action in court to have his assets that were given to his sister, given to you as he probably would have wanted. Short of you being able to resolve this matter directly with the sister, a court battle could be ugly and of course costly.

You should discuss with your husband right away the need to update his Will and beneficiaries on his retirement accounts and life insurance policies naming you and his new baby as his heirs.

Updating your husband’s Will, and of course making one for yourself, is important now that you have a child. In addition to distributing your assets according to your wishes, your Wills should also designate a guardian to take care of your child in the event something happens to both of you.

Don’t delay on getting this done. This is a simple and inexpensive task and will avoid unnecessary confusion, litigation and expense.

The following two tabs change content below.

Todd Murphy

Todd Murphy is an estate planning lawyer in Morristown New Jersey where he helps modern families of all ages plan for the future.

Latest posts by Todd Murphy (see all)

%d bloggers like this: