How Often Should You Review Your Will?
When was the last time you read your will? Is it still relevant? Are there changes that really should be made?
After completing a will, most people put it in a safety deposit box and don’t bother looking at it again. This is a mistake because wills should be reviewed periodically, especially if there have been significant changes in your life such as…
• marriage (because your will is revoked when you are married),
• divorce (because it revokes a gift to the former spouse, and in many cases that is most of the will),
• the birth of a child (because you’ll want to deal with guardianship, support etc…),
• the majority of a child (because you won’t have to deal with guardianship, may want to do something about support, specific bequests),
• a major acquisition or disposition of property,
• the death of a spouse or other family member mentioned in the will, and
• executor dies or reaches a state of physically or mental disability.
Never attempt to revise your own will by scratching out or marking up existing clauses. When making alterations to your will, taking the time to follow the legal formalities will ensure that your will remains valid, up-to-date and that your estate is dispersed according to your wishes.