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When Should You Update Your Will?

On behalf of Randall & Stump, PLLC in Estate Planning on Friday, December 9, 2022

Man and woman talking seriously

Everyone needs to create a will. However, the creation of a will is not the end of the story. You should continuously update your estate planning documents to ensure they don’t become irrelevant. Life brings changes within your household or that of your beneficiaries, and you should update your will to reflect those changes.

Reasons to Update a Will

You must update your will to ensure you always include your beneficiaries and that your assets are covered. If you acquire new assets or beneficiaries change, your will should be updated as soon as possible.

If you fail to update your will, assets will not be distributed as you intended. Beneficiaries may be missed, and their heirs will not receive a fair share. Your assets may be distributed according to law instead of per your wishes.

You Get Married or Divorced

If your marriage has begun or ended, you should update your will. When you pass away, a new spouse and potential stepchildren must be considered. You might want to ensure children from a prior marriage and your new spouse receive your assets.

If you get a divorce and leave your former spouse as the primary beneficiary in your will, your other family members will most certainly know that was not your intention. Don’t forget to change your will when your marital status changes.

A Beneficiary or POA Agent Passes Away

If one of your beneficiaries or power of attorney (POA) agents passes away, you must update your will. If you do not, the assets going to that person may be passed under state law. If you lack a named POA agent, the court may choose one. You deserve to make your wishes known through your will.

After the Birth or Adoption of a Child

Expanding your family with a new child is an exciting time. It’s easy to forget to update your estate plan. Don’t let that happen. You must include a plan for who will care for your child if you pass away unexpectedly. You should also have information about any monetary inheritance. Your updated will should consider many aspects of being a parent.

You Acquired or Sold a Significant Asset

Your will should reflect what you want to happen with all your assets. If you acquire a new asset, such as a vacation home or business, you should update your will to include passing that property to a new or existing beneficiary. This applies to selling or giving away assets as well. If you have specific assets in your will and do away with them, you should update your will appropriately.

Your Children Turned 18

When your children are young, you will have many considerations that must be included in your will. You must plan for their care and inheritance if you pass away. However, once they turn 18, you can generally update your will to address new issues. Your child might be your POA agent, or their inheritance may change. You will certainly want to update your will to address these issues.

Contact a Will Attorney for Help

When it’s time to update your will, you should reach out to an estate planning lawyer who can help you adjust things efficiently. In most cases, you can quickly gather the necessary information and make changes to your legal documents.

Call a will lawyer at Randall & Stump, PLLC at 980-237-4579, or contact us online today.