Creating a will determines the distribution of your assets after your death. Many people make their will early on years and forget to update it after a major life event.
Failing to update a will could jeopardize how you want your assets divided. The chaos and confusion from family members accidentally left out could create a lengthy legal battle and unnecessarily tie up your possessions in probate.
When to update a will
There are some situations where the need for a will change is obvious. The following are ideal situations for revisiting your will:
- Birth or death of children
- Thinking about divorce or when divorce occurs
- Marriage of children
- Beneficiaries develop substance abuse or mental health concerns
- Significant changes in asset acquisition or loss
- Legislation changes
- Original will becomes lost
- Strained relationships with family or friends
There are different ways to update a will, whether it is adding a beneficiary or including additional assets. Failing to update a will during one of these events can turn into problems after your death.
What happens to an outdated will
Every state has a set of requirements for the construction of a will, and if the will in question does not meet these requirements, the court can deem the will invalid. However, if the will does not include current information or seems ambiguous, one of the beneficiaries or individuals left out could attempt to challenge or contest the will during probate.
Family members do not want to fight and stress about your assets after your death. Updating your will as necessary can prevent unnecessary strain during an already difficult time.