Estate planning preparation and completion is an important life-related aspect that some overlook. You have not. You created a will by working with an attorney, telling your loved ones about your plans and keeping the will and its related documents in a safe-keeping place. Good for you.
You may think that your task is done, but not so fast. Realistically, wills must get revisited from time to time, especially when matters in your life change. A will can become stale and archaic if neglected. People must understand that a will should get regular attention and not considered a “one-and-done” matter. A will needs to get a periodic update — a regular tune-up, for that matter.
A marriage, childbirth and death of an heir
Typically, a will should get a review every three to five years. Otherwise, an out-of-date will could pose certain challenges. What if you remarried, but your first spouse remains the primary beneficiary, leaving your current spouse with nothing?
Here are some relevant examples as to when you should revise your will:
- A marriage.
- The birth of a child.
- The births of grandchildren.
- A divorce.
- The purchase of a home.
- When you as an entrepreneur start a business.
- The death of one or more of your beneficiaries.
- Receiving a significant inheritance.
- A significant change in assets. This includes assets that may have grown or shrunk since you created the original will.
- A move to another state. Every state has different laws, and your new home likely has different laws pertaining to estate planning
- When one of your children serves as your main caregiver during your frail and vulnerable state near the end of your life. You may designate certain assets to his child to show your gratitude.
- Your relationships with certain charities have grown stronger or weaker.
You have come this far with your estate planning and creation of a will. And it is important to remember that your will should get fine-tuned whenever significant matters change in your life.