Once you’ve drafted a will or estate plan for the first time, the work doesn’t stop there. These important estate plans need to remain up-to-date with the changes in your life, the good and the bad. Be proactive in maintaining this information and prevent unnecessary hassle for loved ones once the plans come into play.
There’s no specific age or time period when a person should update their will. Each person must plan according to their own lifestyle and familial changes in order to keep an estate plan relevant to their current circumstances.
Common times to update a will
Each person may experience life changes at a different rate than others, so make estate plan updates as necessary for your life. It’s important to start estate planning even before major milestones like a marriage or becoming a parent. As these life changes occur, that’s when it’s time to update an existing will. You should consider updating a will after:
- Getting married
- Having Kids
- Coming into increased personal wealth
- Buying a home or other property
- Starting a business
- Getting a divorce
- Beginning to experience health issues
- Losing loved ones
Sometimes a positive life change will prompt an updated estate plan, but other times it may be a negative experience. Losing loved ones is a particularly difficult experience, but it’s important to keep your will relevant in terms of beneficiaries and potential guardians for your kids.
If you’ve designated a loved one to take over guardianship of your children and that person can no longer do so, it’s important to keep your estate plan up-to-date. Estate planning may fall to a low priority in these times, but it’s crucial to your own future that these plans remain relevant even in case of these extenuating circumstances.
Plan for the future
Even just as time moves forward it’s important to keep updating a will. As your children grow up, you change jobs, you move to a new city or home; life changes over time and so should your estate plan. Give your loved ones the best, most relevant set of information to use to exact your final wishes. Keep an estate plan up-to-date to ensure your loved ones are as prepared as possible going forward.