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How Often Should I Update My Will



Why You Should Have A Will

Having a will allows you to feel confident that your remaining assets will be distributed according to your wishes. Some state laws affect whether you can disinherit certain family members, so it is always a good idea to consult an estate planning attorney. Attorneys have a detailed understanding of the laws that apply in your jurisdiction and can help you write a will that will accomplish your goals. You should have your attorney update your will every few years or when certain life events occur. The requirements for changing or adding to a will vary by state, so be sure to follow your attorney's advice.

You Should Update Your Will After These Life Events:

  • Marriage
  • Birth of a child or adoption
  • Death in the family
  • Gaining new family members through marriage
  • Divorce
  • When relationships within the family change
  • When you gain new friendships or end old ones
  • When you acquire any new significant assets not covered in previous versions of your will
  • When your philanthropic interests change

Writing A Good Will Requires Thinking Ahead

Your financial and family circumstances at the time of your death are likely to be different than when you first wrote your will. Life is constantly changing, so you need to plan for the various events that may happen before you die. If portions of your will are invalid at the time of your death, then those assets will be distributed according to state law. State law may have the undesirable effect of devising assets to people you wanted to disinherit. You can imagine circumstances where someone leaves all of his or her property to a person who dies before the testator, making that part of the will invalid. For this reason, many wills are written with conditional clauses, which devise assets to a particular person only if certain conditions are met. Not every circumstance can be imagined in advance, which is why you should consult your estate planner regularly and update your will accordingly. Contact your estate planning attorney today to discuss whether it's time to write a new will or update your existing one.

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