When to Update Your Will

You have finally done it!  You talked with your spouse and made tough decisions regarding end-of-life planning.  You made peace with the fact that someday you will be gone, and it will be easier on your loved ones if you have an estate plan in writing with your wishes.  Now you don’t have to think about it again, right?  Unfortunately, wrong. 

While preparing an estate plan is an important first step, it is not the final step.  Estate plans often need updating when life changes.  You may have created your estate plan when your children were young and had provisions for guardianships, but now your children have grown and there are other considerations.  Instead of guardianships for children, you may need to consider if you’d like to name a child as one of your Powers of Attorney.  What about provisions for grandchildren?  Or treatment of a bequest to a loved one who has since passed away?  Perhaps you were married when you created your estate plan, but have now divorced.  Changes will likely need to be made both to your Will and to Power of Attorney in that case.  Further, there are often changes in the law that prompt the need for an update—for example, recent changes to the Power of Attorney form adding (if you so desire) the ability for your Power of Attorney to manage your digital assets (social media, email) if you are no longer able. 

When life changes, don’t forget to give your estate plan a review, as it may need to change too.