If you already have will in place, then kudos to you for taking the time to help protect your family and assets! However, life circumstances can easily change to the point that it really is important to update your will and other estate planning documents. Otherwise you wouldn’t be doing what’s best for your loved ones.
So When Do I Need To Update My Will?
Although it’s a good idea to think about the terms of your will and other estate planning documents at least once a year, there is not a black and white rule as to how often you should actually update them. The need to make revisions has more to do with life changing events than anything else. Below are some important ones to consider:
Change in relationship status (marriage, divorce, long-term partnership). Chances are that if you go through a major change like this then your priorities of where you would want assets to go would change as well, possibly drastically.
Moved to a different state. Every state has it’s own set of laws when it comes to wills. An out-of-state will may be valid in Texas, but it will not contain the language that would take full advantage of Texas laws which makes the probate process much easier and a lot less expensive for your loved ones.
Becoming a parent or a grandparent. Whenever there is a new addition to the family by birth, adoption or marriage, then not only do you need to reconsider where your assets go, but you need to think about trust provisions as well.
General passage of time. If it’s been several years since you last did your will and other estate planning documents, then it’s possible that some of the people who you were really close to at that time are not as close to you now. This may change who you want assets to go to as well as who you’d want to be the executor of your will, agent for your power of attorney, agent for your medical power of attorney, etc.
Bad health. If you have reason to believe your physical or mental health may be getting worse or if you were to get diagnosed with a terminal illness, then it’s a very good time to revisit your will and other estate planning documents.