You wrote a will 10 years ago. You have not thought about it since. You just filed it away, glad to have something in writing, feeling like you’d taken an important step.
That is an important step, and you’re definitely moving in the right direction. However, you don’t want to create an estate plan and forget about it. You have to update it and refresh it as your life changes. Your assets, goals, desires and financial options may have changed drastically over the last decade.
To help, here are a few common life events that mean it is time to look at your estate plan again and consider updating your will:
- You decide to have children and start expanding your family
- You get married to a long-time partner
- You get divorced and end your marriage
- You see a substantial change to the assets that you own
- You retire from your career and begin living off of your savings
- You make a major move to another place, whether it’s a different state or a completely different country
- Someone that you named in your will passes away
- You or a loved one becomes disabled
- You get diagnosed with a serious and possibly terminal illness
- A new grandchild is born
Of course, you don’t have to wait for these events to take place. You can always review your will on a set schedule, just checking up on it every year or so to make sure it’s still in line with what you want. Make sure you know what legal steps to take and when to act.