Once you have an estate plan in place, recognize that it is not a static instrument, and that you must update it periodically to reflect any major changes in your life. There are two main ways to reflect changes in your wishes: The first is through a codicil, or an amendment to your will, and the second is to revoke your old will and establish a new one.
Some examples of when to consider revising your will or other forms of estate plans are:
- If you get married or divorced
- If there are any major changes in your family (such as births or deaths)
- After the value of your assets significantly increases or decreases
- If there are any major changes in tax laws
- If you change your mind about a beneficiary, legal guardian, or executor
If you move to a new state, it is also wise to meet with a lawyer and ensure that any changes in laws between states will be reflected in your will. It may also wise to include a Letter of Instruction along with your will. While generally not legally binding, this document can help expedite the process of distributing your assets, and provide information that isn’t found in the will.
If you have any questions about whether or not to revise your will, or would like additional information regarding estate planning, please contact us for a free case evaluation.