Your last will and testament is one of the most important documents you will write. Some people may feel intimidated when creating the terms of the will, as it involves making major decisions that affect your friends and family once you pass. Once you have created your will, it is not set in stone. You can always return to update your document if life circumstances change.

There are many critical items in the last will and testament, including the name of the executor of the estate and the names of the guardians who you wish to care for your children should you pass away unexpectedly. The document also contains the property and assets in your estate, and lists the beneficiaries who you want to receive your possessions when you pass.

How do you know that it is time to update your will? Financial professionals recommend that you review your last will and testament every three to five years or if a major life event occurs. These events include the following:

  • Getting married
  • Filing for divorce or legal separation
  • Having a child

You may want to take another look at your will if you accumulate property or purchase land that you would like to include in the will or sell items that you then need to remove from the will. Whether you have started a new business or a beneficiary previously included in your will has passed, you need to consider updating your estate plan. Also, changes in the law may constitute an update in your will.

In some cases you can simply add an amendment to the will stating the changes you would like to make. However, you may need to rewrite the entire document to ensure everything is correct.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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