Once many people make a will, they will  put it in a safe deposit box or leave a copy with their attorney, and forget about it. However, there are many reasons to review and update your will and other estate planning documents. For instance, let’s say you’ve found the love of your life and want to make sure they are included in your estate plan, either before or after marriage. Now is the time to update your will. Had a baby or adopted a child? Now is the time to update your will. Are you going through a divorce with the former love of your life? Now is the time to update your will. Did you just come into a whole lot of cash or other assets? Now is the time to review and possibly change your will. While the reasons may be endless, we’ve listed a few more possible life changes that may prompt you to change your estate plan.

Below is a checklist of events that may prompt you to do so.

____ The individuals you have named are deceased.
____ New people should be named in your will (e.g. birth, adoption).
____ Divorce or marriage.
____ New state laws. You need to periodically check to see whether your state has enacted new laws that impact your estate planning documents. More importantly, if you move to a different state, don’t assume that your will made in your previous state conforms to the requirements of your new state. Each state has its own legal requirements for making a will.
____ Change in guardians, personal representatives, or trustees.
____ Children reach the age of eighteen.
____ A substantial increase or decrease in the value of your estate.
____ The acquisition or disposition of a significant asset.
____ You should see an attorney about reviewing and updating your estate plans prior to reaching 701/2 years of age if you have an IRA, 401(k), or other qualified plan that requires you to begin to take distributions at age 701/2. The beneficiary that you designated will have an irrevocable impact on both your and your beneficiary’s required distributions.
____ The passage of time is reason enough. You should review your will and estate planning documents every three to five years.

Is it time to update your will?  Contact Pappas & Russell, P.A.

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