In our last post, we talked about the need to create an estate plan, and how many people are adverse to the idea of getting started. This is understandable on the one hand, but on the other, your estate plan is a vital part of your life (and eventual death). Going without a solidified and legally compliant estate plan is dangerous, and it could leave your beneficiaries and family members without a clear path for acquiring family assets.
A will is an integral part to protecting your collection of assets and your family members. Without a will, it means you die "intestate," which effectively means you are at the mercy of the probate process and default state laws to administer your estate.
So obviously, you want to have a will. But less obviously, you should update your will frequently. Many people skip this step, thinking that just by the nature of having a will they are going to be fine forever. But frequent updates to your will are necessary, especially in light of the following circumstances:
- Marriage, divorce, or childbirth
- A change in state laws
- A change in your relationship with a beneficiary
- The passage of time
- The death of a beneficiary
- A dramatic change in the value of your estate
- One of your children turns 18
Any or all of these circumstances warrant an update to your will, and if you are in need of assistance in this regard, consult with an attorney.
Source: FindLaw, "Checklist: Reasons to Update Your Will & Estate Planning Documents," Accessed Sept. 15, 2017