Knowing when a will should be redone is an important part of the estate planning process. Estate planners should ensure they set up a will and also know when they may need to redo their will as life circumstances change.
There are some times in the estate planner’s life when they should always consider updating their will including:
- Changes in the law: New developments in in law, such as tax laws, can impact the estate planner’s will which is why they should consider if they should redo their will if the tax laws have changed.
- Impending good fortune: If the estate planner is expecting some upcoming financial success, it may change how their will should be written so they might want to consider updating their will at that time. Likewise, financial setbacks may also occasion the need to update a will.
- Changes in committed relationships: If the estate planner marries or divorces, they should promptly consider updating their will to include the changes to beneficiary designations. Estate planners should not forget to update beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, insurance plans and jointly owned bank accounts.
- Becoming a parent or grandparent: When the estate planner becomes a parent or grandparent, changes to their will may be pertinent. New parents may want to add a guardian to their will that they did not include before. New parents, along with grandparents, may also want to update beneficiary designations so it may be a good time to take a fresh look at their will.
- Losing a spouse: The loss of a spouse can implicated tax and estate planning laws and can also impact beneficiary designations. After losing a spouse, estate planners should consider updating their will.
- Poor health: For estate planners in bad health, it may be a good time to review their will and ensure everything is how they want it. If the estate planner is suffering poor health, it can be a good time to look at their will again to make sure their estate plan also includes a plan for incapacity.
Estate planning provides important and comprehensive protections for estate planners and should change as the estate planner’s life changes. Knowing when to update a will is an important part of keeping the estate planner’s overall estate current and should not be ignored.