12 Different Times When You Should Update Your Will

Some situations where you may need to change your will should be obvious to most people. But others just may surprise you.

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I can’t tell you how often I meet with clients who tell me they have been meaning to update their wills for years but never got around to doing it. Their numbers are only surpassed by the people who didn’t think they needed to update their legal documents, and their omissions become clear once they passed away and their family discovers the will is woefully inappropriate.

Some wills really do pass the test of time. I have seen a 50+-year-old will that was spot-on. The deceased individual stated they wanted their spouse to receive their assets, then their children equally if their spouse passed away, and named the same people as executors of their estate. The drafting attorney could have patted himself on the back that he foresaw exactly how things would be, but the skeptic could say he got lucky that what he drafted happened to play out in this family’s life without any hitches.

It is also important to realize that it isn’t merely “why” you are updating your will, but “when” you are updating that can make all the difference. Acting too late (or too early) may mean your changes are no longer appropriate or even immediately invalidated. Here are 12 times you should consider changing your will:

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

Daniel A. Timins, Esq., CFP®
Owner, Law Offices of Daniel Timins

Daniel A. Timins is an estate planning and elder law attorney, as well as a Certified Financial Planner®. He specializes in Estate Planning, Surrogate’s Court proceedings, Real Estate Law, Commercial Law and Medicaid Planning. He is a graduate of Pace Law School.