You finished your will recently, and you feel a well-deserved sense of accomplishment. Rather than tuck the estate planning document away in a safe place for the rest of your life, you may need to update your will in the years ahead.
MoneyCrashers explains when it makes sense to amend a will. By ensuring the document includes your most-current desires, you better ensure you take care of your loved ones and honor your end-of-life wishes.
Getting married or divorced
If you marry or divorce, update your will to either account for your new spouse or asset changes for your former spouse. By amending your will when you marry, you make sure your spouse receives everything you left her or him when you die. You may also change your will to account for your life partner if you do not marry. Should you neglect or forget to change your will when you end a marriage, your old spouse may inherit assets intended for other beneficiaries.
Welcoming a child into the world
When you add a new child to your family, amend your will to include your bundle of joy. For estate planning purposes, new children include nephews, siblings, nieces, grandchildren, biological children, adopted children and stepchildren. If you lose a child through divorce or death, reflect the change in your estate planning documents.
You may change your mind about the person serving as your executor. Your original candidate could die before you or reconsider being your executor. Either way, you want someone who accepts the role and has what it takes to fulfill the responsibilities.
A will fulfills its intended purpose when it represents your genuine desires. Do right by yourself and your beneficiaries by recognizing when you amend your estate plan.