If you have already drafted your will, then you know through the experience of preparing it why it was so important to get it done. But how long has it been since you drafted it? Do you remember your exact wishes that you included?
Drawing up a will is not just a onetime occurrence. Life continues to change and it can quickly turn unpredictable. Does your will reflect these changes? If not, you need to revisit your will and make sure it is up to date with your current wishes.
When should you review your will?
- At the birth or adoption of a new family member
- After a marriage or divorce
- When a person in your will passes away
- When children or grandchildren become adults
- If there is a change relating to your executor, trustee or guardian
- When there is an increase or decrease in the value of your estate
- When you start a business
- After changes in the tax laws
- When you begin to take distributions from your 401(k) or other qualified plans
- If you are diagnosed with a terminal or chronic illness
Other times you should revisit your will
You have received a large sum of money-If you are the beneficiary of someone else’s will, you may have new ideas on how you want this new money distributed. You may also want to consider drafting a trust which can ease the amount of estate taxes you will owe after your death.
You move to a new state-There are different rules in each state when it comes to estate taxes and how property is treated. Because of this, it is best to review your will in your new state so you know exactly what impact your move could have.
Your wishes change-You may have drafted your will early in your marriage that does not reflect your current wishes and desires. You may want to address valuable collections you kept or long-term relationships that are more important to you now than when you were younger.
It is important to remember that the one-time you drafted your will should not be the last time you see it. Wills are very important documents that ensure your wishes and property are handled correctly after you are gone. Make sure to revisit your will during major changes in your life to make sure everything is up to date and as you wish.