Preparing your estate plan can help you protect your assets and interests after you die. One of the foundations of this plan is your will.
According to the American Bar Association, a will allows your executor to distribute certain property according to your wishes following your death. Although creating your will is a beneficial place to start, you should not forget to update this document throughout your life when certain situations occur.
You get married or divorced
If you get married or divorced, update your will as soon as possible. This will prevent any assets unintentionally going to your ex following your death and allow your spouse to become a beneficiary after you get married.
A new child joins your family
Your will allows you to name a guardian for your minor child. If a new child joins your family either by birth or through adoption, update your will to reflect your most recent wishes for guardianship.
Your financial situation changes
If you experience a financial windfall, you may move into a higher tax bracket, which can create new estate tax considerations. This new wealth may also require you to reconsider your beneficiaries. For example, you may decide to leave certain assets to a charitable organization.
In addition to these life situations, there may be many other times throughout your life where you should review and update your will. Generally, you should plan on looking over your will and estate plan approximately once a year to ensure it reflects your current wishes.