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The Importance of Updating Your Will and Trust

As we go through life, we accumulate assets, grow our families, and experience changes that can affect our estate plans. A will and trust are critical documents that govern what happens to our assets, who will make decisions for us if we become incapacitated, and who will care for our minor children. For these reasons, it’s essential to keep your estate plan current by regularly updating your will and trust.

Avoiding Outdated Documents

One of the primary reasons to update your will and trust regularly is to avoid outdated documents. An old estate plan can lead to confusion, disputes, and litigation after your death. For instance, if you’re previously divorced and you’ve named your ex-spouse as your beneficiary, your assets will go to them if you pass away. An updated will ensures that your assets go to your current spouse or children, and they get the benefits you intended for them.

Keeping up with Current Law

Another reason for updating your estate plan is to keep up with current laws. Laws are changing constantly, and what was valid yesterday may not be legal today. An estate planning attorney can help you understand the latest laws and regulations affecting your estate and guide you in updating your documents.

Changes in Your Family

Changes in your family or personal circumstances call for regular reviews of your will and trust. This is especially important if you have minor children or a family member with a disability. You should review your documents whenever you experience significant life changes such as a marriage, the birth of children or grandchildren, divorce, or the death of a loved one.

Changes in Your Financial Status

Your financial status and assets may change over time, making it essential to update your will and trust accordingly. For example, if you start a business, acquire a property or invest in a new asset, your estate planning attorney can help you update your plan to reflect these changes.

Estate planning is an ongoing process, and the importance of updating your will and trust cannot be overstated. Failing to regularly update your documents can lead to unintended consequences and result in disputes that may harm your loved one’s chances of receiving the assets you intended for them. Make sure you work with an experienced estate planning attorney to keep your plan current and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you pass away.

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