Many people mistakenly believe that once that have created a will that their work is done. In reality, you must keep your will up to date to account for the expected and unexpected changes that occur in your life. Experts suggest reviewing and updating your will at least every few years, or whenever you experience a major life change or event.
What constitutes a major life event?
Generally, a major life change in this context may relate to any situation that requires you to add or remove a beneficiary. Some of these changes may include:
- Marriage (or remarriage)
- Birth or adoption of a child
- Children reaching adulthood (18 years of age)
- Death of a spouse/child/beneficiary/executor
- New dependents (e.g. aging parents requiring care, adult children moving home)
Other major life changes have a direct impact on your assets, including:
- Sudden increase in assets/windfall of money
- Relocation to another state
- Purchase or sale of assets
- Change in relationships between family/friends
- Change in estate laws or taxes
It is easy to create an estate plan and forget about it until it is too late. Even if you have not experienced any of these major life changes, you should still plan to update your will, along with the rest of your estate plan, every three to five years. Your estate planning attorney can help you restructure your plan over time so that it continues to meet your family’s needs as the years go by.