Estate planning is not a one-time arrangement. It is a process that continues as long as you are alive. Accordingly, you have to regularly review your estate planning tools, such as your will, and update them to reflect your present goals and situation. This provides you control over you and your loved ones’ future financial protection.
But when exactly should you review your will?
Significant changes in your life
If you created you will earlier in life, it is likely that many things have changed since then. Some of those changes do not have any effect on your will, but others do. Common situations in your life that might warrant a will revision include the following:
- New and fallen relationships: Marriage and the birth of a child or grandchild are common reasons to update a will. Testators typically want to add their spouses and heirs are beneficiaries to their will, so you can revise your will if that is your priority. Similarly, you can update the document to remove or replace an ex-spouse or other people you no longer keep a good relationship with.
- Newly acquired and lost properties: Since wills outline how your assets will be disposed of, it is essential to add new properties and remove assets you no longer own to avoid complications during your estate’s administration.
- Other relevant changes: Every situation is unique. You may be facing personal and financial changes in your life that you believe is material enough to update your will.
There are two ways you can update your will. However, you should first review your situation to see which one would be more effective for your case.
It is easy to make mistakes during this process. Nonetheless, you can prevent missteps by working with a knowledgeable legal advocate who can help you reach your estate planning goals.