Updating Your Will: When and Why It's Necessary 

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    At ProSe Legal Service, we believe in the power of planning to ensure your loved ones are taken care of no matter what. Today, we’re diving into a topic that’s super important but often overlooked: updating your will. Think of it like this: your will is a snapshot of you and your life at a certain moment in time. But just like how you wouldn’t want to keep a years-old selfie as your profile picture, you shouldn’t let your will get out-of-date either. So, let’s talk about the when and why of giving your will a little refresh.  

    Life Changes – The Big Ones 

    Life has a funny way of throwing us curveballs, and significant changes in your personal or family circumstances definitely warrant a will update. Here is a Forbes online article with reasons to update your will. 

    1. Marriage or Divorce: Getting married or divorced is a game-changer. When you tie the knot, you probably want to include your spouse as a beneficiary. On the flip side, after a divorce, you might want to update your will to prevent your ex from inheriting your assets. 
    2. Birth or Adoption of a Child: Congratulations, you’re a parent! With a new bundle of joy, your focus now includes their future welfare. Adding children or stepchildren to your will is crucial to ensure they’re provided for. 
    3. Loss of a Loved One: If someone named in your will passes away, your will could end up being outdated. You’ll want to reallocate their share or update your choice of executor if they were designated for that role. 

    Changes in Assets 

    Over the years, your financial situation can fluctuate. Whether you’ve accumulated more wealth, acquired new property, or dipped into your savings, these changes can affect your will. 

    1. Buying or Selling Property: Let’s say you bought a new house or sold a vacation home; those assets need to be updated in your will to reflect their current status. No one wants to will away a house they sold three years ago! 
    2. Significant Financial Changes: Big increases (or decreases) in your wealth can shift how you want to distribute your assets. Maybe you hit the jackpot with an investment, received an inheritance, or encountered financial setbacks – revisiting your asset distribution is key. 

    Changes in Relationships 

    Over time, relationships evolve. Someone who was once a confidant may no longer be part of your inner circle, and vice versa. 

    1. Falling Out or Rekindling Relationships: People come and go from our lives. If you’ve had a major fallout with someone named in your will, or if you’ve reconnected with a long-lost loved one, it’s time to make updates. 
    2. New Relationships: New friendships or romantic relationships might inspire you to include these special people in your will. Welcome them into your fold legally by updating your documents accordingly. 

    Frequently Asked Questions 

    • How often should I review my will? 
      • It’s a good idea to review your will every 3-5 years, or whenever a major life event occurs, to ensure it still reflects your current wishes and circumstances. 
    • Do I need a lawyer to update my will? 
      • While you can make minor changes with a codicil, it’s advisable to consult with a lawyer for significant updates to ensure your will complies with current laws and accurately reflects your wishes. 
    • What happens if I don’t update my will? 
      • If you don’t update your will, your outdated instructions may result in unintended beneficiaries receiving assets, missed opportunities for tax benefits, or legal complications for your loved ones. 
    • Can I add new beneficiaries to my will at any time? 
      • Yes, you can add new beneficiaries to your will at any time. It’s important to do this through a legally recognized process to ensure the changes are valid and enforceable. 

    Working Together 

    Updating your will isn’t something to dread – think of it as a way to stay in control of your legacy. Life constantly evolves, and your will should reflect that. At ProSe Legal Service, we’re committed to making this process as smooth and reassuring as possible. If you have any questions or need assistance with your will, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Your peace of mind is our priority. 

    Stay proactive, and keep your will updated – because you and your loved ones deserve it. Cheers to planning for a future that takes care of everyone you hold dear! 

    For more information on how we can assist your legal document matters, today or call (909) 497-1349 to schedule your next appointment with our team of professional LDAs or LDPs!