Monday, October 08, 2007

When do I need to look at my Wills again?

Category: Estate Planning

Congratulations! Unlike the vast majority of Americans, you have a Last Will and Testament. You have created an appropriate distribution scheme to take into account your family, assets, and goals. Now what?

To continue to fit your needs, a Last Will and Testament, and indeed your entire Estate Plan, need to evolve over time. Not only does the law change, but you change - your family situation, your financial situation, your goals.

Courtesy of Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog, here is a list of those occurrences that should trigger you looking at your Wills again:

All of this should be reviewed on a regular basis and always when one of
the following happens:
(1) Marriage, divorce, death of spouse.
(2) Birth of a child.
(3) Children become financially independent.
(4) Birth of a grandchild.
(5) New business venture.
(6) Substantial growth in your business.
(7) Job promotion.
(8) Retirement.
(9) Purchase of life insurance.
(10) Move to a different state.
(11) Substantial increase or decrease in wealth.
(12) Decision to make large charitable gifts.
(13) Increase in risk of being subject to a lawsuit.
(14) Substantial amounts of property are in joint names.
(15) You purchase real property (including a time share) in another state.

Even if none of these have happened recently, an estate plan needs a "check-up" every 3-5 years. What does this mean? Get our your copy of your documents and read them. If they don't match your recollection, or are no longer appropriate (you no longer have a relationship with your successor executor for example) make whatever changes are needed so your Will and Estate Plan continues to fit you.

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