You may be of the mindset that once you establish your will, you are prepared for the future. However, while having a will is an essential part of your estate planning process, making sure to update your will can be equally important as your living and family situations change over time.
Certain changes within your family unit or financial situation can alter the way you want your estate handled after your passing. They may also change the beneficiaries to whom you would like to designate your assets. But how do you know when you need to update your will?
Three times in your life when you might be wise to change your will
A will allows you to designate your assets to your chosen beneficiaries and also makes your loved ones aware of your wishes. In order for things to run smoothly after your incapacitation or death, however, you need to be sure to keep your will current.
For example, you might want to change your will if you:
- Relocate to another state. Estate planning laws can vary between states, so it is crucial to make sure your will aligns with local laws when you move.
- Have a child. When you become a parent, you will likely want to determine who will raise your child if something happens to you. You may also need to designate someone to handle your child’s inheritance if you pass away before your child is a legal adult.
- Have a significant other. Whether you are married or have a live-in significant other, they will not get all your property when you pass away, unless you have a will designating it to them.
The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, is known for saying that in your life, change is the only constant. Many things will change throughout the years, but in the interest of doing the best you can to care for your loved ones in the wake of your passing, you should keep your will up-to-date.