When was the last time you sat down and took a long hard look at your will? Maybe it’s been a decade, which is likely much too long for an estate plan to stay the same. Or, maybe it’s only been a year, but life can change in the blink of an eye and you may need to make some changes.
An out-of-date will can create tons of problems if left uncharged for too long. You could be excluding a family member from your will or maybe there’s someone in your estate plan you need to remove. If you suddenly fall ill with a power of attorney who’s no longer alive, then that could spell serious trouble for you.
Amending a will can be difficult when you’re not sure when’s the right time to make changes. There are several key indicators that your will needs to be updated. Here’s what you should know:
You need to name a new child guardian
You may have named someone to be your child’s guardian if you and your child’s other parent suddenly died. While the guardian was open and willing to take on the role when it was first brought up, they may not be open to the idea now. Perhaps they’ve had a child of their own and can only commit to them, or maybe they’ve had some financial struggles recently and want your child to be given the best opportunities in life, which they can’t provide.
Your relationship status changed
Maybe you were single and married or married and now divorced only just a year ago. There was likely tons of paperwork and changes in your life. But, one key document you may need to consider changing is your will – to either put your spouse into your will or remove your ex-spouse (or both).
You sold your assets
Did you recently sell some of your assets? Maybe it was a car or home or an art collection. If any of those assets were listed in your estate plan, then you may need to make alterations to ensure your heirs aren’t sent on a wild goose hunt for something you no longer have.
It’s often best for people to update their will regularly. But, if you had a big life change, then it may be time to take another look at your estate plan and learn what legal options you have.