Acts of Independent Significance
Either intentionally or unintentionally, your will can change meaning with an act of independent significance. Generally, this means that your will has a statement or clause that is vague and can change meaning based on circumstances.
For example, if you are part owner of a business, you can state that you want your shares in the business to be distributed to “the other legal owners.” You’ve avoiding listing the names of the other owners knowing it’s possible that list will change over time. This is also helpful when indicating what you want to go to your “children” or “grandchildren” in case the family grows after you complete the will.
Another independent change can be in the contents of a house, bank account, safe, etc. You can simply state that the assets for distribution are the “contents of my house.” Between the writing of your will and your death, the contents of your house will likely change. Therefore, the recipients get the contents that are in your home at the time of your death.
In addition, you can state in your will that you will write further instructions for distribution. So if you know how much money you want to go to charity, but you haven’t selected the charity, you can choose the recipient at later time.
A good estate lawyer will help you construct a will using acts of independent significance to ensure your assets are distributed exactly as you intend.