State laws vary regarding how wills should be changed or revoked. In Nevada, however, a will can be changed by a formal legal codicil or revoked by physical destruction. There are a number of different circumstances that may lead a person to change or revoke a will.
For example, major life changes such as the birth of a child, marriage or divorce all tend to require a change in the estate plan. However, it is important that these changes are done correctly since an improperly changed or revoked will could cause confusion and make the will more vulnerable to challenges. The ultimate result could be that a person’s wishes are not carried out.
If a new will is created, it needs to be executed correctly and should include language that renounces any former wills and establishes it as the last will and testament. Creating a codicil to a will is considered the same as writing a new will since it makes essential changes to the documents. Whatever method a person chooses to modify or revoke a will and create a new one, it is best to do so with the assistance of an attorney to avoid errors.
If there is a need to change a will, it may be a good idea to review other estate planning documents as well since they might be related. In fact, even if there are no major life changes, an estate plan should be reviewed every few years to ensure that it still reflects a person’s wishes. Changes in tax laws could also necessitate additional estate planning. Any beneficiary designations, which are used for assets such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts, may need to be altered as well since these override wills and trusts.