It is a subject that could cause the family dinner to take a turn, and could even make some Missouri residents feel uncomfortable. It is also a necessary part of life that, if completed properly, could save family members headaches down the road.

Many from the Show-Me State might assume that a one-time glance at a will is all they need to complete estate planning. However, there are a number of downsides to an unfinished or outdated will, as explained in the pointers below.

Why Does it Matter? 

Even though it may make for an awkward conversation, discussing a will with surviving loved ones is important in many ways. CNN Money states that courts make the major decisions for those without a will — including those regarding where surviving minor children will live. Some claim that revisiting a will once a year can help reduce chances of uncertainty in the future. Since life tends to throw monkey wrenches in the mix at the most unexpected times, updating a will after big life changes is another ideal step; examples of this might be the death of an heir or major modifications to financial situations. 

What Factors Might Change?

Just as life often contains many unexpected turns, it is vital to know what chapters might require the need for an updated will. Aging Care lists some common life changes that those of any age should consider adding to a will, such as changed assets, taxes laws and even locations. For instance, the oscillating value of one’s estate could call for a will modification. Tax laws — both federal and state — are also known to change, and could alter the ways a will affects beneficiaries. Moving to a new home could also alter a will. There are many other steps involved when it comes to keeping a will updated, and those taking these steps may need to consider additional angles of the process.