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Top 4 Times You Need to Update Your Will

Estate Planning For Life's Stages

Estate planning attorney updating a client's will.
Even if you've already drawn up a will, if you're in one of these situations, it's a good idea to review your final wishes and make any necessary changes, so your money and personal belongings are left in the right hands.

Just as your life changes over time, so should your will. As your living testament to your wishes, it’s imperative that you update your will with how you want your estate to be handled after you die.

So, when exactly should you update your will? Here’s a few events that constitute a meeting with your estate planning attorney:

  1. You’ve experienced a significant life event. This may be a marriage, a divorce, the birth of a child, remarriage, a move to a new state, or the death of a loved one. These events may require adding new heirs to a will (or removing others) or updating the will to reflect the current state of residency. They may also have an influence how assets are divided in the will – so it is imperative that your will is reviewed and updated to reflect your current wishes.
  1. A person in your will has experienced a significant life event. Key individuals named in your will include executors, trustees, and guardians. These individuals may move, get married, or become sick or disabled, which could change whether or not they are appropriate for the role listed.
  2. The tax laws have changed. Your current will may be written to minimize the effects of estate taxes. If laws change, some families may no longer need to worry about paying an estate tax, which could eliminate the need for some trusts or other provisions in a will. Ensure that your will’s provisions are reviewed & updated to minimize the tax effects!
  3. If it’s been three to five years. A lot can change in a few years. It’s highly recommended that you review a will at least every three to five years to ensure all provisions align with your current wishes.

A Few Final Notes…

When reviewing your will, don’t forget to review beneficiaries on various financial accounts like bank accounts, retirement funds, & life insurance. A named beneficiary will trump the will!!

Be sure to store your updated will in a secure location, like a fire-proof safe, and let your executor know where they can find it. If an estate planning attorney drew it up, they’ll gladly store a digital copy for you.

Recently experienced one of the life events above? Contact the Ozarks Legacy Law team today to start reviewing & updating your will.