Update Your Will After These 5 Major Life Events
A will that reflects your wishes is crucial for ensuring your assets are distributed to your liking when you pass away. A clear and up-to-date will simplifies the matters your loved ones must attend to immediately after your death and provides peace of mind. The general recommendation is to update your will every three years. But there are major life events that should also nudge you to review and change your will.
The Birth of Your First Child
Welcoming a first child is when most people write their first wills. Your will at this stage should name your child’s guardian and the trustee for any trust your will creates for your child. Your will should also make room for future children.
A good tip is to create your will before your child is born. You may execute a will any time afterward, but becoming a new parent can bring a flood of unexpected demands that may cause you to postpone creating a will. Meet with a wills and trusts attorney to discuss creating a will while you are expecting.
When You are Considering Divorce
If you believe you will divorce, you may wish to create or update your will before filing for divorce. Your spouse has marital rights to your estate if you die before your divorce is finalized.
If you create a will before filing for divorce, you will prevent your spouse from receiving your assets if you die before the divorce is completed. If your divorce has been finalized, your ex-spouse may not be named in your estate. This is also an ideal time to update your will so it names new beneficiaries.
When Your Child Marries
Parents preparing for their children’s marriage might not be thinking about their own wills, even if there are red flags in their child’s relationship that may indicate a future divorce. As an experienced parent, you may have more insight into your child’s future with the new spouse, but your will’s provisions regarding your child may not have been updated since his or her birth. You may reduce the effects of your child’s divorce on you and your child by creating a trust in your will and setting post-nuptial requirements before your child can receive assets.
Your Named Executors or Beneficiaries Pass Away
If the people you named to manage your estate or to receive assets die before you execute your will, your assets might end up with the beneficiaries of those individuals. If this goes against your wishes, revise your will immediately after your executors or beneficiaries pass away.
You Buy Property or Move to Another Country
If you own property in more than one country, transferring property may be delayed if it must be probated in the other country first. Consider having a separate will for each country in which you own property.
Update Your Will in Maryland and Washington DC
At The Law Offices of Clifford M. Cohen, we serve residents of Washington, DC and Maryland who seek estate planning. If you or a loved one needs to create or update a will, discuss your goals with our firm. Call (202) 845-7036 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.