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Your Will: Overhaul vs. Update

Because change occurs in our lives all the time, it is important to keep estate plans up to date. But how do you know which situations simply require updating your existing will with a codicil and which ones necessitate a whole new will? This guide can help.

Draft a New Will
Your marital status has changed. You'll need a new will if your spouse dies or you get divorced, especially if you've left your estate to your former spouse. If you are remarried, include your new spouse in your will.


Your children are grown. If you created a will when your children were young, you'll likely need an overhaul. If they are old enough and financially stable, you may no longer need provisions for guardianship or trust funds.

You move to a different state. Legal requirements of a will vary from state to state. Consult an attorney in your new state to ensure your will is still valid.

Update Your Existing Will
Your executor's situation has changed. Has the executor, guardian or trustee named in your will moved or passed away? Update your plans to reflect these changes.


You want to make changes to an inheritance. For example, you would like to change the amount of money you'll leave to a sibling from $25,000 to $50,000.

You wish to make a charitable gift in your will. This simply requires including a few lines in a codicil—a legal instrument made to modify an earlier will. See below to find language you can share with your attorney when remembering us in your will. Contact Paula S. Fortunas at 850-431-5752 or paula.fortunas@tmh.org to learn more.

The official bequest language for Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Foundation, Inc., is:

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Foundation, Inc., [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."


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The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, please consult an attorney. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes apply to federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.