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5 situations where you should update your will

Your will is an essential document that allows you to maintain control over your assets after you are gone.

As time goes on, however, you may experience life changes that require you to revise or redo your original will. Here are 5 situations to consider as you get older.

1. You have a new grandchild

A new addition to the family means you might want to adjust your inheritances. You can set aside part of your estate either specifically for your grandchildren or for your children to provide for their whole family.

2. You change your marital status

Whether you get married, divorced or widowed, you will need to revise your will to account for changes in inheritors. Otherwise, parts of your estate might go to exes or probate could stall.

3. You become ill

Some cognitive illnesses are degenerative, such as dementia and Alzheimers. If you are at risk for such conditions or experience early onset symptoms, consider creating a living will. This document can help you proactively prepare for when you are unable to make healthcare decisions.

4. You acquire new assets

Always include new assets such as property, collectibles and businesses in your estate planning. Otherwise, you will leave them to Delaware law. High-value assets can increase your tax bracket as well, and preparing ahead of time can help you avoid probate.

5. You move out of state

Estate law can change slightly depending on what state you live in. Not all wills are universally valid, so make sure you review the laws in your new state of residence.

Updating your will after major changes to your life, health or finances ensures your assets remain under your control after you are gone.

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