A will is an essential estate planning tool that helps ensure your final wishes and provide for your loved ones after your passing. For a will to be effective, however, you must update it regularly to account for life changes that may affect the settling of your estate.
Here are a few situations that warrant an update to your will.
1. You want to add or remove beneficiaries
You may want to add a new child, grandchild or spouse to your will to receive a portion of your estate. You can also remove beneficiaries with whom you no longer want to share your assets. If you want to add or remove beneficiaries to your will, do not wait. An inaccurate beneficiary listing can make for a messy situation when you are no longer here to share your desires.
2. You want to change your will executor
Life is dynamic, and so are relationships. You may want to change your will executor for many reasons, such as divorce, marriage or your current executor being unable or unfit for the role. Whatever your reasons are for wanting to switch, you should update your will as soon as you have a new executor chosen.
3. You acquired or relinquished assets
Buying, selling or losing assets impacts your will and the estate division process. For example, if you purchase a vacation or rental home, you should add it. Similarly, if your stock portfolio suffers a significant loss, you should update your estate planning documents because those assets are no longer available to your beneficiaries.
Updating your will after these life changes allows you to care for your loved ones, even after you are gone.