If you have written a will, you are already doing better than most adults in the U.S. According to Marketplace, approximately half of all Americans die without this essential document.
However, if you do not update estate plans, you could still leave your loved ones with a mess after your pass. There are certain circumstances when you should consider reviewing your will.
After major life events
Any time your life undergoes a major transition, you should take another look at your will. Changes in your family, including births, marriages, divorces and deaths, can alter your priorities and end-of-life wishes. For example, when a child is born, you may need to appoint a guardian. Additionally, after a divorce, you will likely want to remove your former spouse as a beneficiary.
A move to a new state can have tax and legal implications for your estate plans. Each state has its inheritance laws.
Any shift in your financial circumstances can also necessitate an update of your will. If you see a significant increase or decrease in income or if you received property or funds from a deceased relative, you may want to modify how your will handles your assets.
Every few years
Inheritance and tax laws often change. You should periodically examine your estate plans to ensure they are compliant with current legislation.
Your will is not the only important estate document that you need to occasionally update. Review your insurance policies and retirement funds to ensure they reflect your intentions.