Many Indiana residents haven’t written any type of will at all. In fact, less than half of adults in the country have created this basic estate planning document. Even if you have a will, you should update it every few years.
Why should a will be updated?
The most important time to update your will is after a significant life change. If you have a new child, you get married or divorced or one of your beneficiaries dies, these are key times to do review your estate plan. Any time you need to add or subtract a beneficiary, you’ll need to revisit your will.
Other times to update your estate plan are when you have had significant changes in your financial circumstances. If you have had a windfall of money or you purchased new real estate, you may need to specifically mention these assets in your will. Even if circumstances in your life have remained relatively stable, it’s still a good idea to revisit your will every few years.
Reconsider your executor
The executor that you name in your will is responsible for distributing your assets according to your instructions. If the person you named is no longer capable of doing that, you’ll need to name someone else. It’s also important to reconsider the person you named as your executor in case you decide that you made a bad choice. Over time, you may have realized that another person in your family would be better suited to the role of executor.
Double check beneficiaries
The beneficiaries listed on your financial accounts generally receive the contents of those accounts regardless of what your will says. If you are making updates to your will, be sure to double check that the changes are reflected on your beneficiary designations as well.
Consider setting up a trust
If many years have passed since you created your first will, your family and wealth may have grown significantly. You may also have new factors to consider such as stepchildren in the family or a disabled family member that will require long-term care. Setting up a trust may help you to plan for more complex situations.