Life would be so much simpler if you could predict the future. You could comfortably set up your life to fit in with whatever twists and turns life originally had planned for your non-prophetic ways. But of course, no one can see the future and nothing is done for you to make things easier for you. Sometimes you have to do some difficult and tedious tasks to ensure that your future is protected.
This sentiment applies to estate plans because your will — that carefully crafted document that will pass on your nest egg to your family members and beneficiaries — is unlikely to remain the same throughout your life. In fact, the likelihood that it will stay the same is effectively zero.
There are so many life events, random occurrences and major moments that could cause you to address your will and update it. As examples:
- If you get a divorce, remarry, experience a death in the family or have a child
- If your beneficiaries pass away or your children become adults
- If the laws in your state that deal with estate plans change
- If your estate acquires a significant or valuable asset, or your income significantly increases or decreases
… then you should update your will in accordance with that change.
Having a will is one thing, but leaving it in stasis while life passes by is completely another. If you don’t update your will, provisions won’t function the way you envision them and your loved ones, family members and beneficiaries could end up locked in costly litigation to settle your estate.