Your life is not static. It is in constant change, and some of its changes may require you to update the terms of your will or trust. Important events can make an existing estate planning document unreasonable or incomplete. Because of this, you must know in which circumstances you need to update the terms of your will or trust, and why.
If you have a new family member
You will need to change your will or trust if you have kids. You must update your documents as your family keeps growing if you want to ensure all of your loved ones get a share of your estate when you pass away. Also, you may want to appoint guardians for your children. The only way you can do this legally is by specifying in your will who you want to take care of your children after your death.
If you want to add or remove a beneficiary
If you have a new child, grandchild, or remarry, you may want to change your estate planning documents. You may have met someone new that you did not include in your existing will or trust, and by updating its terms, you can add them and ensure they will act as your heirs after your death. You may also want to change your estate plan if you divorce or one of your beneficiaries dies.
If you want to change your trustee or executor
The trustee or the executor is the person who will manage your estate after your death. They will distribute your property and assets according to your wishes. Because of the critical role they have, you must trust them completely. If you have changed your mind about your executor or trustee, you must change the terms of your will or trust. The same applies if the person you had appointed as an executor becomes ill, acquires a mental illness or dies.
If you move to another state
Every state has different laws and requirements for the validity of estate planning documents. If you move to another state without updating your legal documents, they may become inefficient. For example, a will in Ohio is valid if two people witness its signing, but the number of witnesses required may be higher in other states. The requirements for powers of attorney also differ from state to state. Because of this, you should change your documents if you consider moving across Ohio’s boundaries.
If your estate changes significantly
Hopefully, your estate will keep growing as time passes. That is why you should revise your estate planning documents at least every three years. The value of your estate influences how you should distribute your property. A big loss or gain may require you to change your will or trust’s terms according to your current circumstances. The same applies if you establish a business.
Stating your wishes
What you wrote on the terms of your will or trust is not set in stone. You can update your estate planning documents as time goes by. By updating your estate plan, you can ensure your property is distributed as it should: according to your wishes.