A will is a legal document that shares a person’s wishes as to how their property is to be distributed after they pass away. Once a will is created, it will need updating based on the life events that take place.
Here are the 8 reasons you may need to update your will:
- A Change of Relationship
- A Change of Assets
- A Change in Location
- A Change in Heart
- Someone in Your Will Has Passed Away
- The Will is Outdated
- Selected Executor or Trustee is Not Available
1. A Change of Relationship
You never know what life has in store for you. You may get married, have children, get divorced, become distant to someone in your will, or rekindle your relationships with others. It is difficult to predict these life events, and because of this, you will have to update your will on a case-by-case basis as these potential changes occur.
2. A Change of Assets
The value of your assets can vary with time. Your assets may gain or lose value depending on when you decide to purchase and how old the assets are. Additionally, you will want to update your will if you start a business or purchase any new major assets.
Related Article: The Difference Between a Will and a Living Trust
3. A Change in Location
It is challenging to predict where you will be living. You may need to move because of a new job opportunity or if your children move out of state and you decide to follow them. Perhaps you retire and decide that you want to live somewhere near the beach. If you do move, you will need to make those adjustments to your will. Be mindful that state laws regarding wills vary from state to state.
4. A Change in Heart
Is there a charity you’ve joined because you support their cause or one you’ve decided to leave because they no longer align with your personal beliefs? If so, these could be reasons to update your will.
5. Someone in Your Will Has Passed Away
When someone dear to you passes away, it is devastating and can take a lot of planning to decide what will happen afterward. If this individual is listed in your will, you will need to remove them in order to give someone else the spot. This ensures that your assets are taken care of if you pass away.
Related Article: What is the Probate Process if You Die Without A Will or Trust?
6. The Will is Outdated
With time, even wills become outdated and hard to read if handwritten. Take the time to update your will to ensure there are no issues and that it is legible to read. Remember, finances and estate planning go hand in hand, which is why reviewing your will before tax season every year is a good time to make sure all of your affairs are in order.
Have you updated your beneficiary designations of IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement plans? Many times, these forms do not get updated or reviewed for time spans of 10 years or more. Taking the time to update the beneficiary designations is especially important if the value of your account has substantially increased. In addition, you may have new insurance policies or pension plans for which you can name beneficiaries in your will.
8. Selected Executor or Trustee is Not Available
Although you may want someone to act as your trustee, it does not mean they are willing or able to take on the responsibility. If this is the case, then you will need to make those changes and hand over this task to someone who is willing and able.
Need help with your plans for the future?
Marcia L. Campbell, CPA is committed to helping each client plan for the personal and financial decisions that need to be made for the future. Marcia’s team has a genuine interest in your well-being and has a well-established list of services to help guide you through this process.
If you need help, please contact us by filling out a Contact Form or giving our office a call at +1(951)686-3608.