Your will protects your personal wishes and your family’s legacy. That will you made five or 10 years ago needs some changes. Like a house, your will needs minor updates and changes as time progresses. At home, the paint on your wall may have started to chip or the large family picture on your mantle may need replacing. Similarly, it is important to update your will when you have family or circumstantial changes.
Changes in your family
If you get married or divorced, it is important to update your will. Not only do you have a spouse to add or remove, you may now have step-children you want added to your will. In addition, changes in your extended family can affect your will. For instance, the addition of a new grandchild into the family is a great reason to revise your will.
On the other hand, the death of a beneficiary will require a redistribution of assets. If a beneficiary struggles with addiction or money management, you may want to add a provision to your will that keeps them from spending too much too fast.
Changes in wealth
If your personal wealth or assets significantly change, your will needs updating. The addition of a vacation home, new car or family heirloom may require a benefactor. Conversely, significant stock loss may merit a redistribution of wealth. It is Important to update your will after starting a new business as well. You don’t want to cause family disputes. The more direct your will is, the easier it is for your family.
Additional things to consider
Make sure that no family circumstances, financial changes or changes to the law require you to make revisions. Also, if you have moved to another state, you must update your will. Each state has their own regulations, make sure your will is honored in your state. Finally, don’t forget about your pet. Include who will take care of your beloved pet before it’s too late.
An updated will makes it much easier for the beneficiaries to follow your wishes and reduces stress for your family. Without a proper will, state laws will determine what happens to your assets. You have worked hard so that your loved ones can benefit, make sure your will accurately reflects your wishes.