Just like a car, your will requires regular maintenance to remain useful and relevant. Life changes as time goes on, and your will needs to reflect these changes in order to properly enforce your wishes when the time comes. Unlike changing your tires, however, you can update and review your will in mere minutes from the comfort of your home through an internet connection. Below we list some vital reasons you should update your will regularly, along with some key items to review. Bechert & Associates is a top South Florida law firm offering estate management services. Call Bechert & Associates to learn more about managing your will today.
Reasons To Regularly Update Your Will
Shifts In Your Family Or Relationships
As time goes on, our relationships evolve, change, or dissolve. Are the relationships you have with the people named in your will the same? Do you still want to leave your valuable coin collection to your ex-best friend? Are you still married to the same man? Maybe you became heavily involved with a charity or other organization you would like to name in your will.
Family situations also change- If you have had a child or grandchild since you first wrote your will, you may want to review your will and appoint guardian or guardians in the event of something happening to you or your spouse. If your kids have grown into legal adults since you drafted your will, you may want to think about revising certain bequests, or even naming them as executors. Make sure your current family and relationships are reflected in your will.
Changes In Location
If you’ve moved out of the state where you executed your will, you need to consult with an attorney in your new location to figure out whether it is still valid. Laws regarding wills vary from state to state, and your old will may not meet your new state’s requirements.
Changes In Assets
If your estate has substantially increased or decreased in value, it is crucial for you to go through your will again. Maybe you purchased or sold a major asset, or started a business. Moreover, you may have new pension plans or insurance policies enacted that you may want to name beneficiaries for in your will.
At Bechert & Associates, we recommend our clients review their will annually. If you haven’t taken a look at your will in more than a year, then you probably should start reviewing it right now. You will want to establish a regular time following this initial review to do a checkup. You may want to review your will around the end of the fiscal year, just like planning for your taxes! Estate planning and finances go hand in hand, making it the perfect time to review your will and get your affairs in order.
Changes In Tax Laws
State and federal tax laws are constantly evolving, which is why you should be aware of any changes that may impact your estate plan. Staying informed and consulting an attorney who specializes in estate planning and wills is your best option.
Items To Reviews
Below we list some vital things to account for when you review your will. Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list:
- Birth or adoption of a child/grandchild
- Children who reach legal adulthood
- Death of somebody named in your will
- A change in your executor, guardians, trustees
- Providing for another organization
- Starting a business
- A significant decrease or increase in your estate’s value
- Change in tax laws
- Changing state residencies
- It’s been a few years since you’ve reviewed your will
Contact Us Today
It’s important to make sure your will reflects your current wishes and circumstances. Work with an experienced estate planning attorney from Bechert & Associates to manage your estate. Call Bechert & Associates to schedule a consultation today.