If you have a will, you are off to a good start when it comes to estate planning. In fact, you are in the minority of American adults. A stunning 60 percent of adults do not have wills. Creating a will is an essential task to ensure your assets go to the ones you love according to your wishes.
That said, do not feel too confident just because you are ahead of the pack. While writing a will is an important achievement, you must also review and revise it frequently. Here are some vital reasons you should regularly assess your estate planning documents.
New people come into your life
If new children or grandchildren enter your family, you likely want to include them in your will. You may also make new friends or become closer with certain relatives over the years. Perhaps you even mend an estranged relationship. When important individuals enter the picture, it is a good idea to take another look at your will.
Your marital status changes
Marriage is a major factor when it comes to your estate plan. You may leave a significant portion of your estate to your spouse or even designate him or her to be the executor. If you get a divorce, your spouse predeceases you or you re-marry, you should probably make some alterations to your estate plan.
You receive a substantial amount of money
One day, you may receive a sum of money from a relative who passes away. Perhaps you start a new business and it becomes successful. Maybe you even win the lottery. If you ever come into a significant amount of money, you should modify your will to account for it. You may also want to consider other estate planning strategies, such as establishing a trust to avoid estate taxes.
Even just the passage of time and a change of heart can warrant a revision.