Your will may be the most important document that you will ever write. If you have already completed yours, congratulations. But there could be a problem, a really big problem. You see, you can’t write your will, put it in a safe or safe deposit box and forget about it.
The beauty and tragedy of life are that things are always changing. Your finances change, loved ones leave and new family members join you, the list goes on and on. With these types of changes, you will want to consider changing some details in your will. You might even want to rewrite it if there have been drastic changes in your life.
The time to revise or update your will varies. If your estate plan is three years old or older, your estate planner should look it over. In addition, your will or estate plan should be reviewed when specific events occur in your life. These changes often create the need to update your plan.
Goldberg and Associates, your estate planning firm in Atlanta, offers the top reasons you should change your will.
A Beneficiary Has Passed
In all likelihood, you have alternate recipients of your estate should your spouse die. So in such an event, you probably won’t have to change your will. However, if you should suffer the loss of a child or someone else in your will, then you will have to make changes.
Changes in Tax Laws
State and federal tax laws are always changing. You will need to stay updated on these changes in case they affect your estate plan. Staying informed and consulting with your attorney is good practice.
Changes in Location
If you have moved to another state, you should consult with your attorney to determine if there should be changes made to your estate plan or will. State laws vary and you should never assume that your old will meet state requirements.
Changes in Assets
If your estate has experienced substantial decreases or increases in value, you should definitely take a look at your will. Maybe you bought or sold major assets or perhaps you started a new business. These are good reasons to reexamine your estate plan.
Changes in Relationships
Obviously, if you go through a divorce, you will want to change up your estate plan. But there are other changes in relationships that prompt a look into your estate plan.
As sad it is, sometimes we have fallouts with friends or family members. So you have to ask yourself if you still want to leave your Rolex watch collection to your now ex-best friend.
You may also wish to make changes to your will because you have met some new and wonderful people. Just as you lose track of some friends over time, you gain new friends along the way.
You yourself may have changed over the years. For example, you may have had a change of heart with the charity or charities you wish to leave money with.
There are also many major life events that can introduce new people into your life. A birth, marriage or adoption are all good reasons to look into changing your will.
You Have Purged Some of Your Possessions
You may have downsized since your will was written. If you got rid of some of the things you were going to leave to other people, then you need to make changes to your estate plan or will. For example, you decided to sell a few of your Rolex watches, so you no longer need to leave them to your best friend.
You Sold Your Home
If you own a different home now than the one when you wrote your will, you might need to make changes.
Major Changes in Your Investment Portfolio
If your estate has had a substantial increase or decrease in value, then it is certainly time to update your will. This can include increased value in stocks or the founding of a new business.
Whatever life events that come at you, whenever they come at you, it is always a good idea to review your will or estate plan. A will is meant to disperse your assets according to your wishes. But those wishes are difficult to follow if your will is full of old information.
Give Goldberg and Associates a call today.