How Long Is A Will Valid?

Passage of time has no effect on the validity of a Will. So, even though your family needs likely have changed over the past 10 or 20 years, that long ago prepared Will is still controlling. Tax laws, and laws concerning Wills might have changed as well.

To be sure your estate plan is up to date, it should be reviewed by you annually. Have there been major life change such as a death in the family, the birth or adoption of a child, a divorce or marriage, or a significant change in assets.

Having a Will does not avoid probate!

When asked why they want have a Will, many people tell me it is because they want to avoid probate.  A Will, however, never avoids probate. It only becomes effective once you have died and a probate estate has been opened with the Probate Court. The Will then serves as your instructions to the Court as to how you want your estate distributed.

Not everyone needs to avoid probate. However, if you want to avoid probate you need to do something other than having a Will.