Is It Time to Update Your Will?
- posted: Apr. 17, 2020
Is It Time to Update Your Will?
Is your will in a fireproof box for safekeeping? Most likely, it is. The majority of people who meet with an estate planning attorney have their wills created and executed and then put them away and never think about them again.
This is NOT a wise course of action. As time passes, things tend to change. And, some of these changes may affect your plans for the future. In fact, professionals recommend revisiting your will every three to five years, just to ensure your original decisions are still appropriate today.
SIX REASONS TO UPDATE YOUR WILL
That said, the three to five-year mark is simply a guideline. There are life events that should also serve as a trigger to review your estate planning documents. Consider some of these.
Have you recently moved? If so, it is strongly recommended that you contact an estate planning attorney in your new “home state”. State law tends to vary, especially with respect to wills and trusts.
Marriage or Divorce
Quite often, spouses are designated as trustees or personal representatives in your legal documents. If you are getting married, you may want to consider adding your new spouse (in whatever capacity you choose) to your will. If you are divorcing, you may want to make changes and replace your “ex” with a family member or close friend of your choice.
Net worth likely fluctuates over time. Depending upon what life brings your way, the value of your estate may significantly increase or decrease. Or you may sell or acquire a major asset. Should this be the case, revisiting your estate planning is wise as you may want to reconsider the choices you made under different circumstances.
If you have recently had a baby or adopted a child, you should update all of your estate planning documents. You want to ensure that you have appropriately planned for your new addition, both with regard to beneficiary designations as well as care.
Additionally, the aging of your children may also trigger the need for reconsideration. When your child turns 18, he or she becomes an adult in the eyes of the law. It is wise to review decisions you made when he/she was younger and update them as appropriate.
Quite often, things tend to change over time. For example, if you have minor children you may have initially designated your parents as their guardians. However, as your parents' age, they may no longer be the most appropriate choice.
Or, perhaps your relationship has changed with the individual you have identified as your personal representative or trustee. It is important to refer to your original documents as “life happens” and reach out to your attorney if you need to make updates.
Even if you believe your documents do not require changes, laws often change and amending your documents will reflect new laws in place. This often works in your benefit as lawyers are constantly improving their documents to help capture new issues that arise and incorporating new technology planning into wills and trusts.
WE CAN HELP
As a result of Coronavirus (Covid-19), estate planning has become top of mind for many throughout South Florida and across the country. With so much happening that is out of our control, having current, viable, executed documents are more important now than ever. At Lisa I. Glassman, P.A., we are working from home and can assist you in updating your current documents and creating new ones, as needed. We are leveraging technology to meet with clients and facilitate the development and execution of wills and other estate planning documents. If you have not updated your estate planning documents (including your will) in the last three to five years, have experienced one of the situations described above or do not have any of the necessary documents in place, contact us today at 561-447-6676. We are ready to provide legal advice and answer any questions you may have. Since 2002, Lisa I. Glassman, PA has been providing outstanding legal counsel throughout South Florida. The firm has offices in Boca Raton, Lighthouse Point, Aventura and Weston. We skillfully handle Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts Probate matters and Real Estate law for our clients. Since 2002, we have provided outstanding advice and advocacy and will continue to do so.