If you've already created a last will, living trust or estate plan, you may feel like you've already taken the necessary steps to protect your loved ones if you die or become incapacitated. Unfortunately, a last will or estate plan isn't something you put together and then forget.
Life happens, and situations can change rapidly. Sometimes, it's obvious that you need to update your will. Other times, you can put it off or not realize that you should be making changes. That procrastination, however, could have dire effects on your estate and your loved ones if something were to happen to you in the meantime.
As a general rule, it is wise to review your last will, living trust or estate plan with your attorney at least every five years. Doing so will ensure it is accurate and up-to-date. The more accurate your last will and estate plan, the lower the risk of tax issues or a contestation taking your estate to probate court.
No matter what age you are, when you're working professionally, building a family and acquiring assets, you want to have an accurate and legally sound last will, estate plan or living trust in place.
Life changes means your will needs to change too
Certain circumstances require that you update your last will or risk serious issues with estate administration when you die. Have you recently gotten married or engaged? Have you been divorced or widowed? When your primary relationship changes, your last will should, too. Similarly, if your family is growing, that may require changes to your last will as well. The birth or adoption of new children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews is often a time to update your last will to include these new family members. If the unthinkable happens and a child, grandchild or sibling dies, your will needs to change.
Of course, births, deaths, and the beginning or ending of marriages aren't the only reasons why your last will or estate plan need to change. Maybe your assets have grown considerably recently. Perhaps you moved into a new home or began investing in real estate. It's also possible for the development of a serious medical condition to necessitate changes to your last will, living trust or estate plan. You may want to name a medical executor or change your request regarding resuscitation or organ donation.
An attorney can ensure your changes are accurate and legal
When you need to change or update your living trust, estate plan or last will, you need the help of an experienced estate and probate attorney. This professional can ensure that everything meets Massachusetts legal requirements and that you haven't overlooked something important for the well-being of your family and your personal peace of mind.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001