A few years ago, you decided that it was important to have a will. You knew that you were getting older, and with multiple dependents, you wanted to make sure that they’d have what they need after you pass away. You wanted to make sure people would know your wishes for your funeral and wanted to be clear about how your assets should be distributed.
Now, you realize that it’s been several years, but should you go back and look over your will again? How often is it really necessary?
There is no easy answer for that. Everyone goes through changes in their lives. Major events might trigger the need to update your will, but they also may not. For example, if a beneficiary of your will passes away, you may want to address that and update your beneficiaries. If not, the unclaimed assets could end up in probate. On the other hand, if you did not include one of your children in your will but started talking to them again, you might be disinclined to change anything just yet.
There are some common times when people tend to update their wills such as when:
- There are significant changes in state laws
- You want to change a guardian or trustee
- Your children have reached 18
- You receive a major asset
- You get divorced or married
- And after any other major life events
It’s truly up to you to decide when you want to review your will or estate plan. You may want to discuss a timeline with your attorney, so you always know what to expect and when you should, at the very least, look over your past decisions.