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Amend my will when beneficiary name changes?

I live in Massachusetts and have had a last will in place for over ten years. I don't have a lot of property just a house that is paid for and couple of cars and a small bank account that my social security goes into. My question is that I have three daughters and they are my only heirs named in the will. Two of them have changed their names because they got married and the third still has the same name. Also, one of them lives in a different town now than when I named her in the will because she and her husband moved. So do I need to amend the will to change their names and addresses so they can collect under the will? Thank you.

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Generally, it's a good idea to have an attorney review and possibly update your estate plan every five years or so.  Things can change, both in your life and in the lives of your chosen beneficiaries (new grand-kids, etc.), and it's a good idea to make sure your estate plan will still do what you want it to do.  However, if you do not wish to do that and your only concern is the identification of your three daughters, I would not worry about it.  The Probate Court will be able to correctly identify your three daughters. 

Submitted Fri, 08/19/2011 - 12:35

It is great that you are taking the time to review your existing documents. That is an important step that so many people neglect. Documents that are perfect in one year, can be less than perfect even a year later due to changes in the law, your family, or your goals and objectives. If the only changes to your Will are things like the names of family, towns, etc., then I would not recommend that you change your Will. We include that kind of information in the documents because we want to be specific and clear with regard to the identity of the individual(s) named. Assuming that the Will was correct when you executed it, you should be fine.
I should point out, however, that Massachusetts recently adopted a new probate code, so it is a good time to sit down with your attorney and make sure that there are no other changes indicated. Also, you only mentioned a Will - YOU REALLY SHOULD ALSO HAVE A DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY, A HEALTH CARE PROXY, AND MAYBE A LIVING WILL AND BURIAL INSTRUCTIONS. Finally, you will want to confirm with your attorney that your Homestead is up to date. Hope that helps.
Attorney Peter Bernardin

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