How Often Should You Be Updating Your Will?
Estate Planners often recommend updating your Will every 2-3 years or whenever there are significant life changes. This recommendation is based on the understanding that people’s lives and circumstances can change over time, and keeping your Will up to date ensures that it accurately reflects your current wishes and situation. Here are some reasons why updating your Will on a regular basis is important:
- Life Changes: Over the course of a few years, many life changes can occur, such as marriages, divorces, births, deaths, and changes in financial circumstances. Updating your Will ensures that it aligns with your current family and financial situation.
- New Assets and Debts: Acquiring new assets (such as property or investments) or taking on new debts can impact how you want to distribute your Estate. Regular updates help ensure that all your assets and liabilities are properly accounted for.
- Changing Beneficiaries: Relationships with family members, friends, and organizations can evolve. Regular updates allow you to include new beneficiaries or make changes if relationships change.
- Guardianship: If you have minor children, you’ll want to designate guardians who will take care of them in case of your passing. As people’s circumstances change, so might their suitability for this role.
- Estate Tax Laws: Tax laws and regulations can change over time, affecting the tax implications of your Estate Plan. Updating your Will can help you take advantage of any new tax-saving strategies.
- Executor and Trustee Selection: The individuals you originally selected as Executor or Trustee might become unavailable, unsuitable, or unwilling to take on these roles. Regular updates allow you to adjust these selections.
- Medical and End-of-Life Wishes: Your health preferences, medical decisions, and end-of-life wishes might change. An updated Will can reflect these changes, ensuring that your wishes are respected.
- Charitable Giving: If you include charitable donations in your Will, your preferences regarding beneficiaries might change over time. Updating your Will ensures your charitable intentions are accurate.
- Property and Jurisdiction Changes: If you own property in different jurisdictions, the legal requirements for transferring ownership might vary. An updated Will can account for these differences.
- Avoiding Legal Challenges: An outdated Will might be subject to legal challenges if it doesn’t accurately reflect your current wishes. Regular updates can help prevent disputes and confusion.
Overall, regular updates to your Will help prevent potential complications, unintended consequences, and conflicts among your loved ones after your passing. It’s recommended to consult with an Estate Planning attorney when making updates to ensure that they are done correctly and in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations.
Check in with Peter if you have any questions, he can provide guidance and also direct you to content on our website that you can review so that you are more comfortable in your decisions.
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This material is for general information and educational purposes only. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions.