A Will is an important legal document to have in your possession. Having a Will allows you to ensure that your life’s possessions will end up with the person(s) of your choosing upon your death. However, it is important to remember that a Will is not always a stagnant document – and it often needs updated and changed based on changed circumstances in your life.
Our blog today discusses the 5 Reasons to Update your Will:
- Passing of Time: This is the primary reason to update or change your Will. Although a correctly-drafted Will can stand the test of time legally, your life may have changed drastically since the making of your Will and you may want to account for this in this important document. Maybe you bought a new house or a second home, have had a change of heart based on who should get your prized comic book collection, or want to make sure that your neighbor who helped you out a few years ago also gets a piece of the pie. No matter what the change – taking a look at your Will every few years and ensuring that your wishes are expressed to your choosing is an important step to take.
- Acquisition of “new stuff.” Maybe you purchased a sailboat, an antique car, or a new piece of property or jewelry since last looking at your Will. These items have a hefty price tag, and you may want to account for them in your Will. Acquiring new stuff- especially expensive stuff-is a perfect reason to re-evaluate your Will and make sure these items are included.
- You moved. If you have moved to a new state or a new country, you may want to have your Will looked at to ensure that it is in compliance with that jurisdiction’s Wills laws and will be upheld as valid in that state/country. States have differing laws when it comes to what is considered a “valid” Will – so you may want to check this out upon moving!
- You have new children! You may want to update your Will if you have had a child, a second or third child, or have adopted a child. If you specifically name your children in your Will, you will want to be sure that your newborn or newly adopted children are provided for and mentioned in your Will.
- You are just married or divorced. You may want to update your Will to include your new spouse after you tie the knot. If you do not have a Will prior to marriage, then now is a great time to make one with your spouse. If you become divorced in Pennsylvania, then all provisions in your Will related to your ex-spouse are revoked – meaning that if you were planning on leaving your spouse who is now your ex your home, you may want to draft a Will and leave this home to someone else.
This is a lot to keep in mind – but most importantly, just remember to pull your Will out of storage or your dusty attic every now and then and make sure it is accurate and is leaving all of your property and assets to the person(s) of your choosing. And make sure you don’t forget anyone important!