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When should you update your will?

If you are an adult in New York state, it is a good idea to have a will. Creating such a document gives you more control over who inherits your assets upon your death. It also allows you to name a guardian for your children and take other steps to limit litigation during the administration of your estate. Let’s take a look at when it may be appropriate to update your will.

A major life event has occurred

Major life events may include the birth of a child, the death of a parent or getting married. After a child is born, it may be necessary to update your will to ensure that he or she is taken care of in the event that you die or become incapacitated. If a parent dies, it may be necessary to remove them as a beneficiary. In the event that you get married, it may be worthwhile to name your spouse as the beneficiary of assets that might not already be joint property.

You find out that the document isn’t structured properly

If you move to another state, your will may not be structured in accordance with its laws. Therefore, it may be necessary to add another witness, tweak the language contained in the document or take other actions to ensure that your will complies with applicable statutes.

You want to make sure the document expresses your true intent

After your will is executed, you may determine that its language is unclear or may be interpreted in a way that doesn’t help meet your plan goals. Ideally, you will read your will annually as part of your normal estate planning routine. If you discover that minor changes need to be made, it may be possible to do so by adding a simple codicil.

Although having a will is important, it is crucial to review it on a regular basis. Doing so may help to ensure that your affairs can be settled quickly and in accordance with your final wishes after you pass.

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