To begin with, congratulate yourself if you have a will. Many Americans do not.
You may have drafted your will years ago, put it in a safe place and forgotten about it. However, things happen, and your will should reflect the changes in your life.
There are many events in life that may necessitate updating or revising your will:
- A beneficiary named in your will has died
- You have married, divorced or remarried
- You have relocated to Texas from another state
- Your child has reached the age of 18 and is no longer a minor
- You wish to change the name of your personal representative
- You have entered a nursing home
The more wealth you have, the more advisable it is to review your will. Ideally, you should look it over every three to five years. Outdated wills and other estate planning documents can lead to disputes among heirs. You do not want family members to squabble over assets after you are gone or to squander their inheritances. Remember to make any necessary revisions if your wealth has increased or if you have acquired more property that you may wish to leave to beneficiaries.
Perhaps you are a millennial newlywed with a baby on the way, or perhaps you are older and nearing retirement. Not only is there a need to update your will to reflect the changes in your life, but you may also want to consider other estate planning tools such as powers of attorney or trusts. Now is the time to seek further guidance. A trusted advisor can help bring your will up to date and advise you on the additional benefits of estate planning.