When Should I Update My Will?

The first step in protecting your assets and property is creating a will. Once a will is created many will put it in a safe deposit box and never look at it again. This is not doing you any good. It’s best to review your will periodically, especially with your estate planning attorney, to make sure that it is still relevant to your life right now. Let’s take a look at the milestones in life where you should update your will so it is never out of date.

Marriage and Divorce

It’s a shame that we have to put both of these life events in the same category, but with the rate marriages are ending in divorce it’s only appropriate. Your will and all other estate documents should be updated when you get married and if you get divorced. This goes for any subsequent marriages and divorces you might encounter in your lifetime.

Birth or Adoption of a Child

When your first child is born you should sit down with your spouse, or significant other, and have the will updated. You need to name your child in the will, name a guardian for them, possibly create a trust and include any other instructions you want to include should you die before they reach adulthood. The will should be updated with the birth or adoption of every child so that the entire family is recognized in the documents.

A Move to a New State

Have you recently moved to New Jersey and already have a will in place? It is time to update said will and other estate documents. Since the will was created and executed in a different state it needs to be updated to reflect where you currently reside. This is a milestone that should never be ignored because the laws differ from state to state.

Death of Someone Named

If you recently lost a loved one or friend who was named in your will it is time to have it updated. Their name will need to be removed from the will. They might have been named as a power of attorney, a guardian for your children, or as the beneficiary of an asset or piece of property that you own.

You Started a Business

Have you decided to start your own business? It’s best that you protect it and its assets by updating your will. You can name who takes control of the business upon your death. It can be anyone you choose, including your business partners, spouse, adult child, friend, sibling or even parent.

Change in Assets

If your estate has experienced significant changes in value, either an increase or decrease, you should update the will to reflect these changes.

Birth of a Grandchild

If you have reached the point in life where your children are starting to have children you should update your will. The addition of a grandchild to your family should trigger your efforts to revise your will.

This is not an exhaustive list of reasons why you should update your will. If you are in need of a will review contact Trish Davis, Esquire in Cinnaminson to schedule an appointment. You can reach the office at 856-829-9204.