If you’ve written a will, you may feel like your estate is now protected. However, while that is true for your current situation, it’s not necessarily the case for the future. Your will needs to be updated regularly because your life, and your estate, is likely to change. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to update your will.
You May Recognize More Heirs
You’ll need to change your will if you have more heirs and want to make certain they receive their proper share of your estate. Many wills have a clause that basically says you recognize the listed heirs and any additional children you may have in the future. Others specify any additional children you have with only your current spouse. If your will doesn’t have this clause and you do have additional children, it doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t get any inheritance. However, it does mean the probate process will be longer.
Your Assets Change and You Have Specific Wishes for them
If your will states that your estate is to be divided equally between your heirs, it doesn’t really matter what assets you have. The court will likely have everything of value sold and divided up unless the heirs present an alternative arrangement that still divides everything fairly. But what if you want one of your heirs lives with you? You may want to ensure that they get your home. In that case, you will need to update your will to reflect this. Otherwise, at best they will have to buy out your other heir’s shares of the property.
Your Life Could Completely Change
It’s one thing to write a will when you’re just starting out your career and have few assets. However, several decades later, your life is likely to look completely different. You may be very established in your industry and have many more assets than you once did. You could be married, divorced, remarried, or in a very committed relationship. You may have children, or you may have become very involved in a charity. Any of these changes can have an impact on your will. Updating it regularly will ensure that these major life events are accounted for. Even if you don’t change your will to reflect one or several of them, updating it does show that you at least took those changes into consideration.
Need help creating or updating your will? Contact Michael F. Kanzer & Associates today to get started.