Like most of your friends and family members, you are seemingly busier than ever. In the limited amount of time you have each day, you may juggle work, family, religious, recreational and other obligations. Still, thinking about what happens to your assets after your death is important.
If you have taken the time to sit down and draft a comprehensive will, you may think yourself finished with estate planning. That is not the case, though. On the contrary, your will may no longer reflect your true desires. Furthermore, it may no longer be legally valid. As such, you must periodically review and update your estate plan. Here are three signs that you should take an in-depth look at your will as soon as possible:
- Your relationships have changed
In broad terms, a will provides for the legal distribution of your property after your death. Typically, individuals name relatives, friends or entities as beneficiaries. If your meaningful relationships have changed, however, you may be inadvertently leaving someone important with nothing. Therefore, if you have a blended family, different friends or other new individuals in your life, revisiting your will probably makes sense.
- Tax laws are different
Federal, state and local taxes change frequently. Accordingly, your antiquated estate plan may result in tax implications that you have not considered. Even worse, you may be missing out on tax benefits. Either way, if there has been some modification of taxation rules since you drafted your will, you probably want to look at the document again.
- You have acquired or lost wealth
You want your will to be as complete and current as possible. Therefore, any time you acquire additional wealth or lose resources, you should rethink your estate plan. This is particularly true if distributing property triggers tax or other consequences for your estate or your beneficiaries.
If you have already drafted a will, you are in a good position to have some say about what happens to your assets. Nonetheless, you do not want your estate plan to become obsolete. By knowing when to review your will, you better protect yourself and your loved ones.