Creating a will is an important step in securing your assets and ensuring your wishes get carried out after you are no longer around. However, just making a will is not enough.
Life is constantly changing, and your will should reflect these changes to remain effective.
Major life events
If you are one of the 46% of individuals who have drafted a will, you may think your job is over, but you need to update your will when you experience major life changes, such as moving to a new state, getting married or divorced, having children or the death of a spouse or beneficiary. Significant changes in your financial situation, such as winning the lottery, starting a business or accumulating or paying off assets, should also prompt a will review. Ensure the distribution of your assets according to your current financial status and situation.
Changes in wishes
Over time, your personal wishes and preferences may evolve. Your initial beneficiaries or the distribution of assets may no longer align with your current values. In addition, the individuals you chose to execute your will and care for your minor children may no longer be suitable or willing to take on these responsibilities. Review and update your will so it reflects your wishes.
If you develop health issues or face a terminal illness, update your will. You may need to make decisions regarding medical care, end-of-life choices and the distribution of your assets. In addition, your will may need to address issues related to retirement, long-term care and the handling of assets in your later years.
A will is not a “set it and forget it” document. Failing to update your will can lead to confusion, disputes and complications, so take time to periodically update your will.