Event Check Points that Signal it is Time to Update your Will

Our bodies change as we get older, so we head to the doctor in order to make sure that we are functioning properly. Sometimes in a check-up, a physician may find that we have some sort of illness or condition, and set about finding a way to fix the problem. Cars are the same way. As your car gets older, you take it to a serviceman for some help. This person makes an effort to clean up the engine and make sure that the car will succeed in taking you where you want to go. In a similar way, you need to give your estate plan a check-up every once and awhile.

As you get older, so does your estate plan, and provisions in your will may slowly lose their applicability as your assets change and your heirs pass away or spark family conflicts. If you wrote a will when you were newly married, chances are that even 10 years down the road that will will be outdated. You may have children now and have acquired new properties or assets that need to be included in your plan. As you grow even older, you may have grandchildren to factor into your inheritance. Estates need almost annual tweaking, and maintenance in order to stay up to date with the busy and exciting changes in your life.

Your estate plan has what are called event checkpoints. Essentially, these are different situations that change your personal, family, financial, or health life. Whenever one of these events occurs, it’s like a symptom prodding you to go to the doctor or a light on your vehicle dashboard tell you to take your car to the shop. It’s time for maintenance. Even a change in tax laws may make it essential for you to re-do your will. Whenever you marry, divorce, or separate, it’s time to redo the will. As well, if your health or the health of your spouse declines, if your spouse passes away, or if the value of your assets changes dramatically, such as when winning the lottery or receiving an inheritance, then check-up on your estate plan. If you change businesses, or buy real estate in another state, these actions will affect the future of your property.

Whenever you give birth to another child or adopt a new little one, then you will want to include this into your estate planning documents. Whenever a child gets married or divorced, or your family receives a drastic finance change, these constitute as event checkpoints. Even checkpoints also occur when a parent or relative becomes dependent on you or when a minor becomes an adult. You can even alter a will if one of your children has an attitude adjustment that drives him closer or farther away from you emotionally. Whenever a family member dies, the will may also need to be updated, especially if that person was an heir.

Also, whenever the federal or state tax laws change, or when you plan to move to a different state, you will want to do a little estate planning maintenance. This can also occur when your successor, trustee or guardian in the current will moves, becomes ill, passes away, or changes his or her mind. If you change your mind on any aspect of your estate for any reason, then you will want to alter that on your will right away so that you don’t end up with a document that doesn’t reflect your wishes when you pass away. If you can remember to dutifully update your will when times call for it, it will help your heirs to avoid conflicts in the future.