Life can be full of twists and turns that lead to unexpected events. This is why it's important to have your affairs in order and written in a will. However, a common mistake made is many of us draft a will and then store it away without giving it much more thought. But this can be problematic as there can be many unexpected occurrences in life that can often lead to necessary reforms in your drafted wills. Below are 8 different reasons why you might consider updating your will to ensure your wishes are up to date.
1. You’ve Moved
Moving to a different state often demands a need to update your will. This is because your state of residence when you die is the state that will administer your will, not the state where your will was written. It is also important to note that laws in your new state can vary from laws in your old state. For example, states have varying laws regarding the number of witnesses needed to sign a will. Some states may require 2, while others require more. Thus, it is crucial to review your will when moving to a different state.
2. Beneficiary Changes
Many people have a beneficiary included in their will, which is the person(s) or entity you select to receive advantages from a trust, will or life insurance policy. However, if a named beneficiary passes away, it may be time to revise your will. Some changes that you may consider is adding a new beneficiary or redistributing inheritances amongst already existing beneficiaries.
3. Marital Changes
Over time, like many romantic relationships, marriage statuses can change. It is one of the most common reasons for amending a will. If you were recently married or divorced, it is recommended to revise your will and update it to avoid issues in the future.
4. Assets Change
Oftentimes, peoples assets and estates change over time. Some estates might experience substantial increase or decrease in value since the time you wrote your will. Similarly, this can happen to your assets. For example, the price of a stock is known to be able to change drastically over time. Therefore, it is important to amend your will to make sure it has current values of assets and estates. Otherwise, this could lead to issues for your executor.
5. Additional Child/ Grandchild
Commonly, when parents have their first child they also start to create a will to focus on their choice of guardian for their child as well as a trustee. However, over time new children can be added whether biological or step-children, in these cases it is important to keep your will up to date so inheritances may be done according to your wishes. In addition, wills may also change over time as your children grow. You may want to change or add inheritances.
6. New Legislation
Congress is constantly proposing new bills and passing legislations that have effects on things like state and federal tax laws. It is important to note how these new legislations affect your wealth, assets, overall financials and beneficiaries. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning to get more extensive planning and financial strategies.
7. Changes in Charity Relationships
Charities can play a big role in people's lives. Many have a significant impact on our lives whether it's a cause for ourselves, our loved ones or just something we support in general. For these reasons, you may choose to donate to charity in your will. However, over time you may change which charities or causes mean the most to you. Therefore, it's essential to revise your will so that it best reflects your wishes.
8. Poor Health
If you or a beneficiary have recently been diagnosed with an illness that may be terminal, it is important to address any changes that may be affected in your will. Should you want to make revisions, it is recommended to consult with an attorney to better adjust any necessary changes you see fit.
If any of these listed reasons apply to you, it may be time to look over your will. If not, a good recommendation is to review your will every 4-5 years, as there are things you may like to fix over time. To address any changes you would like to make in your will, contact the Medicaid Fraud Attorney at (718) 333-2394.