Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, November 15, 2013

Rethink Deathbed Will Revisions


When death looms, the issue of legacy can come into sharper focus.  People may choose this moment to change their wills or estate plans, and, done right, these revisions can save families income and estate taxes as well as prevent administrative hassles.  However, if deathbed revisions are not handled carefully, the will may be vulnerable to burdensome legal challenges.

Financial advisers are often asked to tweak elements of an estate plan when a client nears death.  If someone in the family becomes involved in these changes, it’s critical they have a power of attorney to ward off legal challenges.  And to avoid will contests, a medical or mental competency examination can be invaluable.

Even if precautionary measures are taken, substantive changes at the eleventh hour is probably going to be a bad idea.

See Arden Dale, Changing a Will at the Last Minute, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 10, 2013.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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