10 Reasons to Update Your Will

by Charlene Quincey on July 6, 2009

in Estate Planning, Family Law, Resources

1. Birth or adoption of a child or grandchild: Every time you have another child, or a new grandchild is introduced into your family, you should revisit your will to ensure you have provided for the new child.

2. Death or change in relationship with your Personal Representative/Executor or Trustee: You spent a lot of time carefully considering which individual would best be suited to managing a trust or handling your estate upon your death. Should one of these individuals no longer be able to perform their duties, you should carefully consider who you would like to replace them and update your will to reflect those wishes.

3. Divorce: It is very important that upon a divorce both partners update their will to reflect their new life circumstances and wishes.

4. Re-Marriage: Should you remarry, you should create a new will to ensure your new family is provided for.

5. Death of a Beneficiary: Whenever one of your named beneficiaries dies, you should reflect upon how you would like to distribute their share.

6. Increases or decreases in the value of your estate: Anytime you encounter a significant increase or decrease in your estate it is essential you contact your attorney to ensure your will reflects your new circumstances.

7. Move out of State or the Country: Every state and country has different laws and in order to ensure your will is easily probated and still valid, you should contact an attorney in your new location.

8. Change in tax laws: A change in tax laws may greatly impact the distribution of your estate. Anytime new tax laws are introduced, individuals should contact their attorney to ensure their will is drafted with these new laws in mind. To find out more about WA State Taxes visit: http://dor.wa.gov/content/FindALawOrRule/

9. Special Needs: Your will is a vehicle for you to provide for those who may need special care. If someone in your family becomes ill or requires extra care, such arrangements can be made in your will and your will should be updated accordingly.

10. Yearly Check-In: You should look over your will every year to ensure it’s a reflection of your current wishes and circumstances. Make it habit to check your will around the same time each year – perhaps when you do your taxes, as any new assets or significant changes with respect to your estate will become apparent!

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