Do you have a valid will in place? Congratulations! You are well ahead of the game. A will is, perhaps, one of the most important legal documents you can ever sign while alive. So how long ago did you draft your will? Does it still reflect your wishes?
Will creation is not a one-off job. That is not how estate planning works. Life is unpredictable, and your relationships and preferences are bound to change over time. If you signed your will years ago, it is in your best interest that you review and update it to ensure that it reflects your wishes.
Here are two telltale signs that you need to update your will.
Changes to your relationships
Just as life’s circumstances change considerably over the years, so do family dynamics. Perhaps you were single when creating your will and have since found love and tied the knot. In this case, it is important that you revise your will to include your spouse as a beneficiary. Likewise, if you were married while creating your will and have since divorced or separated, then you should consider updating your will to disinherit your ex.
The arrival of new members into the family (children and grandchildren) is another valid reason to review and update your will
Changes in tax laws
The estate tax laws (state and federal) are constantly changing. When they do, it is important that you understand how those changes will affect your estate and beneficiaries. Updating your will to comply with changes in the law will go a long way in ensuring efficient tax planning.
A will is the cornerstone of estate planning. Keeping your will updated can minimize the possibility of contests and ensure that your wishes are honored when you pass on.