Perhaps you created a will in your younger years. You felt you had done your duty, filed the document away and promptly forgot about it.
Meanwhile, life moved on and big changes occurred. Is it time for you to locate your will and give it an update?
Mission partly completed
You probably felt proud of yourself for having created a will when you were in your early thirties, and rightly so. Young married couples often feel the need to prepare a will when the first child comes along. However, perhaps you are now in your late fifties and on your second marriage. Your children are grown with families of their own. You have reached the point where you are beginning to think about retirement, and it suddenly occurs to you that significant changes in your life point to the need for revising your will.
There are many reasons for updating a will. For example, an estate has increased in value and there is a new asset, such as a vacation home. The children have reached the age of 18. A child has married and there is now a grandchild. The executor named in the original will is no longer able to serve. In your case, you and your first wife divorced, and you remarried. You have two young grandchildren. You are also wealthier than you were when you created the will and now own considerably more assets.
Experts say that you should update your will every few years, not only to make additions or deletions, but also to ensure you stay abreast of any new tax laws. Given changing circumstances, you may also consider other estate planning tools. In case you should become incapacitated, you can create powers of attorney to name someone you trust to manage your healthcare and financial matters. Because you have more assets now, you may want to consider setting up a trust. Explore new legal options, and above all, update your will. Change your beneficiaries, replace your elderly brother as executor, add the beach house on the Outer Banks and enjoy a renewed sense of accomplishment.