When you’re in a position where you have assets like a home, retirement account or even something as common as a pet, you may want to create a will. Wills essentially tell your family and friends what you want to see happen to your assets after you pass away. When you first create a will, you may be in a very different situation than later in life. Since that’s the case, consider redoing your will necessary at least once or twice as you age.
Around 2.5 million Americans die every year, and most haven’t created a will. Failing to do this puts their family and friends in a difficult position, and they may need to turn to the courts for help accessing your assets. It’s important to update your will and estate plan to make the transition easier for your loved ones.
The most obvious time to change or update your will and estate plan is after a major life change. If you get married, you’ll want to address your new wife or husband. If you have a child, you’ll want to add your child and information about guardianship and other necessities. If you get a divorce, you may want to change your estate plan to make sure your ex-wife or ex-husband is not entitled to your assets. Or, perhaps you’ve become a grandparent. That’s a wonderful time to add your grandchildren to your will.
If you update your will at every major point in your life, it should be in a good state when you pass away, making it easier for your loved ones to access the assets you wanted them to have.
Source: Forbes, “When Should You Redo Your Wil,” Deborah L Jacobs, accessed Dec. 29, 2016