Every adult who has an ownership interest in anything of value should have a will. This is true no matter how old or how young you are. Life is uncertain and unfortunately, no one knows which day will be their last.
If you have a will that expresses how you want your assets to be distributed, it allows a probate court to see that your wishes are carried out. If you do have a will, another issue arises: how often should you revise your will?
Revising Your Will When There are Major Life Changes
One consistent recommendation is that any time you experience a major life change, you revise your will, or review your will to determine if you should revise it. Some examples of life changes include:
- You get married.
- You get divorced.
- You have a new child, either by birth or adoption.
- You experience a financial windfall such as you inherit money, win a personal injury case, win the lottery, etc.
- You experience a financial loss, such as losing a large sum of money in the stock market.
- Laws change.
- You change your mind about a beneficiary.
- You move to another state. Each state has its own laws about what constitutes a valid will and how many witnesses are required.
- Your health deteriorates.
- A grandchild is born.
These are just examples. Any life change should trigger you to think about whether your will needs revising.
Periodic Review of Your Will
Even if you do not think your will needs any changes, it is a good idea to review it periodically. Many estate planning attorneys recommend you review your will every three to five years to be sure it still expresses your wishes.
Life changes can occur at times when you are not thinking about your will. A periodic review will help you be sure that your wishes have not changed and that your will still represents how you want your assets to be distributed.
Contact the Reecer Law Firm PLLC for Assistance
Dena Reecer, founder and owner of the Reecer Law Firm PLLC, is one of a few Texas attorneys who are Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. If you are considering preparing or revising your will, contact us for more information about how we can help you.