Do you have a will? Have you updated it recently? Quick: think about the last time you looked over this important document and made any changes to it. Has it been years? Possibly decades?
Whatever the answer, you shouldn't be embarrassed. Even if it has been a long time since your last update, simply being aware of the need to update your will and then acting on that realization is all that matters. In this post, we want to talk about a few reasons why you should update your will, and to offer some advice for your will updates.
Over the course of our lives, many major moments will happen. A few examples of these are marriages, divorces, and childbirth. All three of these moments warrant a change to your will. If you are getting married, presumably you would want to include your new wife or husband on the will. If you are getting divorced, it is likely that you would want to limit or remove your ex as a beneficiary on your will. And if you have children (or if they are emancipated), then you should update your will accordingly.
Are your fiduciary designations still appropriate? You should review who you have designated as guardian, trustee or executor.
There have also been significant changes to Federal & State Estate Tax laws in recent years. These changes should be taken into account in reviewing your will.
Laws also change over time. So be cognizant of state laws that deal with wills, probate and estate administration. If they change, review your will. Also, time itself is reason enough to change or update your will.
If your estate changes in a significant way -- possibly because of reduction in value, or possibly because you inherited or acquired a major asset -- then you should also review your will.
Source: FindLaw, "Checklist: Reasons to Update Your Will & Estate Planning Documents," accessed Sept. 5, 2017