Some people put off drafting a will simply because they don’t know who they want to give certain special items to and aren’t ready to make that decision yet. However, failing to have a will puts you at risk of having a court decide who will get what through the laws of intestacy, and will end up putting undue costs and strain on your family. Further, thanks to the newly adopted Uniform Probate Code, you can draft a valid will now and decide where certain items will go at a later date.
The Massachusetts probate procedures now allow additional flexibility in drafting wills by giving binding effect to a signed written statement or list disposing of certain tangible personal property not otherwise disposed of under the will. The writing may be prepared before or after the execution of a will, and may be altered by the testator after its initial preparation.
This means that a person can now have a fully valid will while also keeping a personal list of items and who they wish to receive them when they pass that can be changed and added to as much as they like without having to change their will. This new procedure should give added comfort to those who are still ‘on the fence’ about creating a will for fear that they won’t be able to change things later. A will is one of those crucial documents that every adult should have, so don’t let procrastination prevent you from calling a Massachusetts estate planning attorney and getting things in order.