Personal injury settlements are compensation granted to someone who filed a claim against another person or company for causing an injury. Sometimes the settlement amount is large, and depending on the details of the agreement, it could be paid out in a payment plan or all at once in a lump sum. Once you receive the total and use money to cover your medical bills from the injury, you may have some extra money remaining. You may want to change your will to account for this new asset, but there are a few scenarios you may want to think about before making any alterations.
Unfortunately, a serious personal injury could leave someone with a long term or lasting disability. A disability changes a victim’s life in many ways, usually structural adjustments must be made to their home in order to make it more accessible for them. If they are unable to return to work, this makes those renovations doubly important. Personal relationships may transform as well due to the emotional toll a disability can take on family, friends and partners/spouses. These changes may influence changes in who inherits your assets when you die, especially if new people enter your life to care for you. You may want to include them in asset distribution.
You might want to ask yourself a series of questions before changing your will:
- Is there money left over from your personal injury settlement after paying medical expenses? Do you wish to give any of this money to designated heirs when you pass?
- Is there anyone you want to add to the will who was not named in the previous draft?
- Is there anyone you want to remove?
- Has your settlement award been set to cover medical care past the length of your life? If it has, then you may receive far more than you expect.
Asking for the advice of a professional lawyer is important when making adjustments to your will, including if you are awarded settlement. An estate planning attorney such as the Estate Planning Attorney Phoenix AZ locals trust will review your settlement terms and review your unique situation. Then they can guide you on how to alter your will according to your new wishes.
Contact an estate planning lawyer today to determine how your award will affect your will and if it would benefit you to change it to reflect your new asset.
A special thanks to our authors at Hildebrand Law for their insight into Estate Planning.