A will, formally known as a last will and testament, is a legal document that outlines your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and the management of your affairs after death. In your will, you specify how your property, possessions and other assets should get divided among heirs, beneficiaries or charitable organizations.
If you have a will, you should not let this document remain stagnant. Several situations in your life should warrant a review and update of this legal document.
Marriage and divorce
According to CNBC, 67% of Americans have not created an estate plan, but many people decide to create one of these documents following their marriage. If you already have a will, it is important to update your will when you get married. This ensures that your spouse gets included in the distribution of your assets and inherits according to your wishes.
On the other hand, if you go through a divorce, you should revisit your will. Remove your ex-spouse from any beneficiary designations and update the distribution of assets to align with your current situation.
Births and adoptions
Welcoming a new family member through birth or adoption is a joyous occasion. Update your will to include provisions for the newest members of your family, specifying their inheritance and guardianship arrangements if needed.
Changes in financial status
Significant changes in your financial situation may warrant a review of your will. This could include substantial increases or decreases in assets, changes in income or the acquisition of new properties. Ensure that your will accurately reflects your current financial standing.
Relationship changes with beneficiaries
Relationship dynamics may evolve over time. If your relationship with a beneficiary changes or if there are new individuals you wish to include, update your will accordingly. This ensures that your assets get distributed in alignment with your current feelings and relationships.
Even in the absence of major life changes, review your will periodically. Regular reviews provide peace of mind, knowing that your estate plans accurately reflect your current intentions.