You’re all set with your estate plan, having created a will that clearly expresses your wishes on what you want done with your assets after you die. You did your planning and research, and now you and your family will gain some peace of mind. Right? Wait a minute. Your family has grown, and many other things in your life have changed since you had a will created … in 1996.
Whoa! You’ve neglected to update one of the most important documents in your life. But don’t fear. Now that you are aware of this oversight, it’s time to get moving. Your will needs attention, and pronto.
First, though, you should be commended for having a will. A recent survey noted that roughly 60 percent of American adults don’t have a will or living trust. Even though you have a will, you still have of work to do. A will needs regular “check-ups.” You see your physician regularly for health check-ups, and you often have your car looked at for regular tune-ups. Your will requires similar attention.
Your will requires attention after these life events
Life events happen, and with them come change. Every time a major life event occurs, you should have your will updated. Here are some of those life events that should make you stop and consider updating your will:
- Purchase of a home
- Birth of a child
- Launching a business
- Death of a family member such as a spouse
- Receiving a large inheritance
- Moving to another state (because different laws pertaining to estate planning may be on the books)
You did the responsible and wise thing by having a will created. Good for you. But creating an estate plan is not a “one-and-done” deal. A will needs regular check-ups.
If you wind up divorced from your spouse and don’t want him or her to get anything from your estate, you should have that will updated and remove him or her as a beneficiary. And what if your family now includes three children, but your will was created when you only had one child? These are just some of the scenarios that should encourage you to get that will updated.