Soon after you began your career, you understood the importance of establishing an estate plan. After hours of research, conferring with trusted friends and working with an attorney, you created a will. Now, you think you are all set.
Not so fast. You are applauded for creating a will, but this legal document really is not a “one and done” matter. A will needs constant attention and regular updates, especially when life events such as a marriage and birth of a child occur. There are many reasons to update a will.
An out-of-date will may cause problems. What if you divorced and then remarried a few years later without updating your will? Your former spouse is likely in your will, but your current spouse is not.
And while you are revising your will, make sure to carefully review and perhaps change other aspects of it such as naming a new executor or new guardians for your minor children.
Marriage, home purchase and out-of-state move
Here is a list of some of the life events that should prompt you to update your will:
- Marriage whether it is the first, second or third time
- Birth of a child
- Purchase of a home
- Starting a business
- Birth of grandchild
- Death of a spouse, close family member and beneficiaries
- Receipt of a significant inheritance or a large lottery payout
- Making a move to another state as different states have different laws pertaining to estate plans
When events in your life significantly change, then you know it is time to update your will. The result: fewer worries and plenty of peace of mind.
Be precise and prepared
Make careful consideration when updating your will. Be precise, prepared and make sure to let your loved ones know about your estate plans and inform them where they may find a copy of your will.