I want to change something in my will. Can I edit my will?
Yes! You can edit your will at any time. All you have to do is log back into your account. If you make changes and want them to be official, don't forget to print out your updated will, follow the instructions to have it witnessed and executed, and destroy your earlier will.
What happens if my spouse (my beneficiary) predeceases me?
When going through the intake you will be able to name your “primary beneficiary” (in this case, your spouse) on the first step. Then on the following step you can name your "secondary beneficiary" who would receive your assets if your primary beneficiary passes away before you.
What happens if my beneficiary and backup (or secondary) beneficiary both pass away before me?
You will also be given the ability in the intake process to name a tertiary (third level) beneficiary of your estate! This step will appear if this option applies to how you've set up your beneficiaries in the previous steps.
How do I pass my retirement assets and life insurance proceeds through my will?
You cannot use your will to directly specify who should receive these assets, because they generally won't be included in your probate estate. Instead, these assets pass based on the beneficiaries you've specified with your plan administrator or life insurance carrier. For example, when you take out a life insurance policy, you will generally be asked to specify a person (the "designated beneficiary") to receive its proceeds. Then, when the policy pays out on your death, the proceeds are paid directly to your designated beneficiary by the insurance carrier itself.
If you wish to change or update your beneficiary designations for any asset like this, you should speak with the asset’s custodian (e.g., your IRA custodian or insurance carrier).
However, FreeWill does have a separate “Beneficiary” form where you can list this information and download a document to share with your executor. Please find that form here: https://www.freewill.com/account/beneficiaries
If I live in the United States & have children in other countries can I use them as an executor/beneficiary?
That depends. The laws regarding the residency of executors vary from state to state. Some states require executors to live in the state where the will is being probated; others permit executors to live out of state, so long as they are related to the deceased; and others don't have any residency requirements at all. You may wish to speak with an estate planning attorney to learn more.
By contrast, there are no restrictions on where your beneficiaries can reside.
Disclaimer: FreeWill is not a law firm, and does not provide legal advice. While FreeWill strives to ensure that its automated services are complete, they are meant purely as self-help forms. The materials and services are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney.