Your final will and testament ensure that your executor acts out your final wishes as you want them to. However, much goes into keeping your will legally valid and ensuring it won’t be contested after your passing. Regularly updating your will can help you avoid arguments about your last wishes and ensure that your assets are allotted where and how you want them to be. To help you make the best decisions to protect your estate plan and your assets, here are a few reasons why you may need to update your will.
There Is a Major Life Event
A major life event doesn’t necessarily mean a beneficiary has passed away. It simply means a life event occurred that may make you reconsider how your assets will be allotted. This could be a birth, adoption, death, marriage, divorce, accident, medical issue, etc. The important thing is to keep your will in mind when these events happen. For example, if you have two children who are married and one of those children has a child, you may want to give them more resources to help them care for that child. Ultimately, who you give what is entirely up to you, but updating your will after a life event will make your wishes easier to abide by and enact.
There Is a Change in Your Assets
You should update any addition or loss of resources and assets within the will. For example, if you start your own business, you may need to create a living trust or a buy-sell agreement. Conversely, if you lose assets, such as property, you’ll need to rearrange who your assets are allotted to. It can be very difficult to determine the legality and validity of your final wishes if your will is not in line with reality. That is to say, if you’re giving beneficiaries assets that don’t exist, the rest of your will can become easily contested. In these cases, it’s easy for the wrong person to argue that you weren’t in your right mind when forming the will or that the will is not legally valid.
You Haven’t Checked Your Will in the Past Few Years
One of the most important reasons you may need to check your will is if you haven’t done so in the past three to five years. Even if you haven’t experienced any major life events or changes in your assets, it’s still wise to check in. This is where legal representation can come in to make things easier. One of the benefits of hiring an estate planning attorney is that they will typically contact you and assist you in this process periodically. In addition, they know what laws, including tax laws, can change over time, meaning certain financial updates may need to be made.