Updating your will is one of the tasks that seems like a “chore.” In some ways it is, but it’s an incredibly important chore that, if left unchecked, can lead to some serious problems for your estate down the line. That’s why it is crucial to stay on top of your will and to update it when major life events occur, or even more mundane changes occur in your life or your beneficiaries’ lives.
So what are these “major life events” that should make you consider updating your will?
- If you get married or divorced, then you need to update your will to either (presumably) include your spouse in the will or remove him or her from your will. This depends on the circumstances and your wishes.
- If you acquire a major asset that should be included in your estate and, thus, your will.
- If you have children, or you have children or grand-children that recently turned 18 years old.
- A change in state laws that directly impact estates and/or wills in general.
And what about some of the minor changes that should draw your attention to updating your will?
- If your beneficiaries move to a different home, city or state.
- If your estate changes in value in a significant way.
- If enough time passes between your last update to the will and present day.
- If you are reaching an older age and your retirement accounts are a part of your will and estate (which they should).
Source: FindLaw, “Checklist: Reasons to Update Your Will & Estate Planning Documents,” Accessed June 28, 2016