The Importance of Updating Your Will

Contemplating the end of one’s own life is never easy, and going through the process once is difficult enough. Unfortunately, important estate planning documents such as wills and trusts are the exact type of documents that must be kept up to date. Too often people spend a lot of time, energy, and money to establish their personal legal documents, only to stash them away in a closet once they are signed. If it has been some time since you’ve flipped through your will, consider this our reminder to you.

It is so important to update your will on a regular basis. Situations and circumstances are constantly changing, and it is essential that your will is updated periodically to reflect these changes. This is the only way to ensure that your possessions will be properly allocated to your loved ones.

We have compiled some tips and suggestions to help you through the process. Consider the following when reviewing your will:

  1. Changes to your family or loved ones, such as the birth of grandchildren, a divorce or a marriage, and the coming of age of
    children.
  2. Changes in assets, such as properties, businesses, or retirement plans. Perhaps you no longer live in the same home as you did five years ago, or maybe you have launched a small business since you last updated your will.
  3. Changes in location, such as moving to a new state. If you no longer live in the same state as you did when the will was updated, it may be in your best interest to consult an attorney in the new state about amending your will. It is important to check that your will is in compliance with the laws of your new home state.
  4. Changes in personal circumstances, including charitable or other organizational affiliations. If you have become more involved with a charity or foundation since the creation of your will and would like to provide for them upon your passing, updating your will to include a contribution to the organization would be the best method to ensure your wishes are carried out.

Keeping your will up-to-date may seem tedious, and it is unnecessary to update it after every single big purchase or event. However, it is important to review on a regular basis to make sure that its contents match your current circumstances. Updating does not mean recreating, so there is no need to draft a new will. Just remember, it is not helpful to put funeral arrangements in your will. Wills are read after the funeral, so making pre-need arrangements with the funeral home is the best way to be sure your wishes are considered. You can even pre-pay if you’d like so your family won’t have to worry about the finances. Either way, you take the guesswork out of “what would Mom or Dad have wanted?”

At the end of the day, keeping these important documents current will allow you to go to bed more peacefully, knowing your estate and assets will be properly managed if anything were to happen. Your will is one of the most important legal documents that you sign and the benefits of keeping it updated far outweigh the inconvenience of the process.