One of the first documents that any person getting their estate plan together should draft is a will. Your will dictates so much in your estate that without one, it is very easy for your loved ones and beneficiaries to become entangled in complicated litigation over your assets when you pass away. Without a will, you die "intestate," and that means state laws and basic probate will apply to your estate. Your wishes and provisions (spoken or not) will go unheeded.
But once you have a will, you can't just sit back and relax. Having a will is just the first step. Over the years you will need to update your will, for a variety of different reasons. Today, we want to look at some of the events that can cause a grantor to revise his or her will:
- State laws may change. If laws that pertain to estates change, then you should check your will to make sure you are compliant and/or taking full advantage of the laws on the books.
- Marriage or divorce. If you get married or divorced, or if one of your loved ones or beneficiaries get married or divorce, then you should revise your will to reflect that.
- Death or birth. If a beneficiary dies or one of your loved ones have children, then you should update your will.
- Value of your estate or acquisition of a major asset. If your estate sees a significant change in its value, then you should look over your will and make some changes.
Source: FindLaw, "Checklist: Reasons to Update Your Will & Estate Planning Documents," Accessed June 22, 2017