March 13, 2019
Estate Planning Lawyer
We all know that creating a will is important. It’s your legacy and the way you can support and protect your loved ones after you have passed away. But when is a good time to create a will? And does it need to be updated or is it a document that is a one-time deal? In this article, we will explain if and when you should update your will with the help of an estate planning lawyer Sacramento, CA offers.
Creating a will
Many people believe that a will is something that you create in your later years in life – closer to the time that you will actually need the will. Or they think that only parents or married couples should have wills. But the reality is, everyone should have a will created as soon as they become an adult. Even if you think you don’t have many “assets” to distribute, it is still important to have a plan in place for after your death. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Key things to include in your will are naming who gets what, who will be the guardians of your children (if you have any), and who will execute your will. You can also include any funeral arrangements you’d like your family to make on your behalf. While it may seem morbid at the time, you will be saving your family members the stress of planning a funeral while they are grieving your loss. In order to make a will legal, it just needs to be written and signed by you with a witness who can vouch that you actually created the will.
When should you update your will?
Now that you’ve gone through the emotional process of creating a will and planning for your own death, you are set for life, right? Well, not exactly. A will is a living, breathing document and should be updated after key life events. If you made a will when you were 21 years old, it may not be applicable when you are 45. You may not know the same people or you may now have significantly more assets that need to be distributed.
A good rule of thumb for when to update your will is after key events. This includes the birth of an additional child, a marriage, divorce, accumulation of wealth or property, etc. You wouldn’t want to forget to include your youngest child when designating beneficiaries or forget to exclude an ex-spouse who you would not want dealing with your finances or property. Keeping your will current will prevent any tense situations between family members as well as make sure that all of your property, finances, and other assets are handed down to the right people.
Your will is not something to take lightly and should be a document that is regularly looked at to ensure accuracy. It is not a “one and done” type of legal document but rather one that morphs over time based on things that are happening in your life Ultimately, the purpose of a will is to give you peace of mind and in order to make that happen, your will needs to be up to date.
Thanks to Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and when you should update your will.