Checklist: Reasons to Update Your Will and Estate Planning Documents

 Making an Estate Plan—Applications

 

Checklist:  Reasons to Update Your Will & Estate Planning Documents

 

As soon as people make a will, a lot of them will put it in a safe deposit box or leave a copy with their attorney then forget all about it. But there are a lot of reasons to occasionally review and update your will and all other estate planning documents. Here is a checklist of possible events that may prompt the need to review and update your will:

 

 

____     The individuals you have named are deceased.

 

____     New people should be named in your will (e.g. birth, adoption).

 

____     Divorce or marriage.

 

____     New state laws.  You need to periodically check to see whether your state has enacted new laws that impact your estate planning documents.  More importantly, if you move to a different state, don’t assume that your will made in your previous state conforms to the requirements of your new state.  Each state has its own legal requirements for making a will.

 

____     Change in guardians, personal representatives, or trustees.

 

____     Children reach the age of eighteen.

 

____     A substantial increase or decrease in the value of your estate.

 

____     The acquisition or disposition of a significant asset.

 

____     You should see an attorney about reviewing and updating your estate plans prior to reaching 70 ½ years of age if you have an IRA, 401(k), or other qualified plan that requires you to begin to take distributions at age 70 ½.  The beneficiary that you designated will have an irrevocable impact on both your and your beneficiary’s required distributions.

 

____     The passage of time is reason enough. You should review your will and estate planning documents every three to five years.

 

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