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Home » Estate Planning » When should you update your will?

Your will is likely one of the first documents you created during the estate planning process. This document allows you to designate beneficiaries for your assets and if you have minor children, name a guardian for them.

Ensuring your will reflects your current wishes is important. Some specific milestones and events should prompt you to revisit and update this document.

Marital changes

Approximately 67% of Americans do not have an estate plan, states CNBC, and marriage or divorce should prompt you to create one of these documents. Entering into matrimony is a joyous occasion, but it should also prompt examination of your will. A spouse’s inclusion and allocation of assets necessitate careful consideration. Conversely, when marital bonds dissolve, you should reassess your will to ensure that your assets align with your post-divorce wishes.

Death of a beneficiary

Life is unpredictable, and the loss of a named beneficiary necessitates revisiting your will. Updating your will ensures your wishes align with the current state of your relationships and asset distribution.

Significant increase or decrease in assets

Whether facing financial windfalls or setbacks, a substantial change requires a will reassessment. This helps ensure that asset distribution lines up with your current financial standing.

Serious illness or disability

Facing serious health conditions or disability prompts a will update. Establishing provisions for healthcare decisions ensures your wishes will get honored during challenging times.

Aside from these major life events, review your will periodically. Set a schedule, perhaps annually, to assess whether you need to make any changes. A well-maintained will is a testament to your foresight and consideration for your loved ones, ensuring that your legacy reflects your current life circumstances and desires.