How Often Do I Need to Update My Will?

Creating a will is a crucial step in estate planning, providing guidance on how your assets should be distributed after your passing. However, life is dynamic, and circumstances change over time, making it essential to review and update your will periodically. Keep reading to learn the importance of regular will updates and how often you should review your estate plan to ensure it accurately reflects your wishes and circumstances.

Significant Life Events

Life is full of significant milestones and events that can impact your estate plan. Marriage, divorce, birth of a child or grandchild, adoption, or the death of a family member are all events that may necessitate updates to your will. When experiencing these life changes, it’s essential to review your estate plan and make any necessary revisions to reflect your current family situation and wishes for asset distribution.

Changes in Financial Situation

Changes in your financial situation can also warrant updates to your will. This may include significant changes in income, assets, investments, or liabilities, such as buying or selling property, starting a business, or inheriting a large sum of money. Reviewing your will in light of these financial changes ensures that your estate plan accurately reflects your current financial circumstances and provides for your loved ones accordingly.

Relocation or Changes in State Laws

If you move to a new state or country, it’s crucial to review your will to ensure it complies with the laws and regulations governing estate planning in your new location. Estate laws vary by jurisdiction, and what may be valid in one state may not be enforceable in another. Additionally, changes in state laws or tax regulations may impact the effectiveness of certain provisions in your will, making regular updates necessary to maintain compliance and optimize tax efficiency.

Evolution of Relationships and Priorities

As you grow and evolve personally and professionally, your relationships and priorities may also change. Reviewing your will allows you to reflect on your current values, goals, and priorities and make any necessary adjustments to ensure your estate plan aligns with your wishes. This may include changes in beneficiaries, trustees, or guardianship arrangements, as well as updates to charitable bequests or other provisions reflecting your philanthropic goals.

Regular Check-ins

In addition to specific life events or changes in circumstances, it’s a good practice to schedule regular check-ins to review your estate plan, even if no significant changes have occurred. Consider reviewing your will every three to five years or whenever there is a major life change within your family or financial situation. Regular updates ensure that your estate plan remains up-to-date and relevant, providing peace of mind and protection for you and your loved ones.

Have You Updated Yours?

In conclusion, regular updates to your will are essential for ensuring that your estate plan accurately reflects your wishes and circumstances. If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your will, DK Rus is here to help. We help Marylanders create and update wills that protect them, their assets, and their loved ones. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.