A will benefits you and the people you will leave behind. It expedites the distribution of your assets and makes it easier for your loved ones to come to terms with losing you. However, you do not write a will once and then forget about it. In fact, you should consider updating it regularly.
The best times for updating your will
Generally, you want to evaluate your will every few years and after big life changes and milestones, such as:
- Getting married or divorced
- Getting or adopting a child
- Earning significant additions to your assets
- Losing your intended beneficiaries
You might also want to review your will after the passage of new legislation that will potentially impact your estate plan. Have a clear idea of how these laws will impact your assets, so you can make appropriate changes to your will.
The dangers of not updating your will
So many things can change over the years. What you wanted then may be different from what you want now. You may also have gained new properties or lost some assets you initially intended to leave to a loved one. Updating your will ensures that its information is accurate, and its instructions are enforceable.
Courts might consider an outdated will invalid or your loved ones may have to go through a prolonged legal process to contest its contents. New legislation may also result in your estate becoming subject to higher taxes and your assets going to the wrong inheritors.
Writing and evaluating a will are not as simple as providing or revising instructions. You can seek the assistance of professionals if you are uncertain of proper estate planning approaches or how to interpret changing estate laws.