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Before diving into the topic of when you should update your will, it’s worth mentioning that you need a will if you meet one of the following criteria:
Generally speaking, those of you who are young, single, and without kids don’t need to worry about a will – yet.
However, if you have a will, it’s vital that you remember to update it following significant life events or over time. Are you wondering what life events may necessitate a will review? Here are the most common.
If you were recently married or divorced, it would be wise to change your will immediately. This would also be an excellent time to update your durable financial power of attorney and medical power of attorney.
Please accept our condolences if your spouse recently died. The death of your spouse is also a reason to update your will.
It is time to update your will if you recently added a bundle of joy to your family following a birth or adoption. After all, you’ll want to name a legal guardian for your child or children in case something happens to you.
Also, if you recently married someone with kids, you may want to add your step-children to your will.
There may be tax implications to consider if you recently experienced an increase in your net worth. Additionally, this increase in wealth may also cause you to alter how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. For example, you might decide to leave a gift to charity in addition to your next of kin.
On the other hand, recent events may have recently reduced your assets. If that’s the case, you might want to change who receives your assets after your death.
If you’re diagnosed with a degenerative disease or terminal illness, reviewing your will is a good idea. There may be tax reasons for distributing a portion of your estate before you die.
You may have a change of heart about leaving assets to an heir for various reasons. While the decision may be emotionally driven, you may also be forced to consider how to distribute your assets following the death of a child.
Of course, you know that changes to marital status or health concerns indicate that you must make an appointment with your lawyer to change your will. However, you may not know how changes in state or national laws will affect your will or trust. For this reason, reviewing your will with your attorney every three to five years is a good idea.
Do you need help creating or reviewing your will? The staff of Woods Law KC can help. Schedule an appointment today to discuss your will, trust, or any other issues you may have concerning end-of-life documents.