When should I consider updating my will?

During the occasional neighborhood discussions, the subject of estate planning surfaces. You have a will and are content to know that you are prepared and have put your estate in order for your loved ones. You seem to be all set, and you tell your neighbors so, even though you created your will 15 years ago.

But wait, not so fast, one alert person informs you. Why haven’t you updated your will? Plenty of life events likely have occurred in the past decade and a half. And those are the times when anyone must give their wills a second look, a redo and an update. When things change in your life, so must your will.

When life changes occur, update your will

Roughly every three years, people should review their wills and consider making changes. You do not want to neglect any beneficiary.

What if your family added two children since the creation of the original will? If those two children were not in the will, they likely receive nothing from the estate. What if you remarried but had an outdated will that named your first spouse as sole beneficiary? The result: Your will does not provide anything for your second spouse.

Consider updating a will when these life changes and situations surface:

  • The purchase of a home
  • When you start a business
  • A marriage or remarriage
  • A divorce
  • The births of children or grandchildren
  • Receiving a significant inheritance
  • The deaths of beneficiaries
  • When an adult child becomes your primary caregiver

Updating a will is an important aspect of estate planning. This crucial legal document should never be a “one and done” project. Regularly review your will to make sure everything is in order. When life changes surface, update your will. Providing peace of mind to yourself and your family is a good thing.