A Will is a vital legal document that outlines your final wishes and instructions for how your assets and belongings should be distributed after your death.
However, creating a Will is not a one-time event. As your circumstances change, your Will should be reviewed and updated accordingly. Failing to update your Will can lead to unintended consequences and may result in your assets being distributed in a way that you did not intend.
If you have created a Will in the past, it is important to review it periodically to ensure that it still reflects your current wishes and circumstances.
The following are some key questions to ask yourself when reviewing your Will:
Is your Will out of date?
If you created your Will several years ago, it is possible that it may be out of date. Laws change, tax codes change, and your life circumstances may have changed since the last time you reviewed your Will. If your Will is out of date, it may not accurately reflect your current wishes or be legally binding.
Is any beneficiary deceased?
If a beneficiary named in your Will has passed away, you will need to update your Will to reflect this change. Otherwise, their share of your estate may pass to their heirs or be distributed according to intestacy laws.
Was the Will made before marriage?
If you created your Will before you got married, you will need to update it to reflect your current marital status. In most cases, your spouse will inherit a portion of your estate unless you specifically state otherwise in your Will.
Was it made before you had a child or children?
If you created your Will before you had children, you will need to update it to reflect this change. You will need to decide who will care for your children in the event of your death and ensure that they are provided for financially.
Was it made before a divorce?
If you created your Will before a divorce, you will need to update it to reflect your current wishes. Generally, any provisions related to your ex-spouse will be invalidated by the divorce, but you will need to update your Will to reflect this change.
Do you have a blended family with children from other unions?
If you have a blended family with children from other unions, you will need to carefully consider how you want your assets to be distributed. You may need to create a trust or other estate planning documents to ensure that your assets are distributed fairly among your children.
Do you know where the original copy of your Will is?
It is important to know where the original copy of your Will is located. If your Will cannot be found after your death, it may be treated as if you never created one. Ensure that your loved ones know where to find your Will in the event of your death.
If any of these situations apply to you, it may be time to update your Will to ensure that it accurately reflects your current wishes and circumstances.
Review your current Will
Before meeting with your attorney, take some time to review your current Will. Identify any changes that need to be made and make a list of any questions or concerns that you have.