Once you have a will or estate plan established, you may think you never have to worry about it again. However, not updating your documents periodically could be lead to unfortunate circumstances for your loved ones.
When should I update?
Any time there is a significant life change you should consider reviewing your will. Marriages, births, divorces and deaths all transform the landscape and dynamics of a family. If you acquire additional assets, like real estate, you may want to adjust the division of such assets.
You will want to make amendments as soon as possible after a change occurs. There is no set date, age or stage of life that is universal for everyone.
Why should I update?
The death of a loved one is always difficult, and without an up-to-date will or estate plan, many people become overwhelmed with the stress of determining how to divide belongings. Sentimental and monetary value both play a part in this process and fights over assets can last years and cause divisions in families. A clearly stated will goes a long way to preventing these difficulties.
It is also important to consider how financial goals evolve over time. As you age, you may begin to reconsider the way you allocated your assets and wish to make changes to your will based on your new outlook.
Discussing a will forces you to admit mortality, and this can be emotionally draining. However, it is important that loved ones and family members have an updated account of your intentions.