Most of us want to sort our wills out and then forget about it. Unfortunately, this is not a very good idea. Things change. You want to make sure your assets and your loved ones are protected. Even after you’re gone.
“It’s good to revisit your will and any other estate planning strategies every three to five years,” suggests Richard Cayne of Meyer International. “But if something important occurs, you should make sure it’s reflected in your will as soon as possible. You’d be surprised at how a seemingly simple change in circumstances can affect you and your portfolio.”
Your situation may have changed
Beyond marriage, divorce, having children, there are other events that may have an impact on your estate planning. Did you inherit any assets? Did you change jobs? A job change sometimes means changes to your insurance cover, which may affect your beneficiaries. Did you move? A change in jurisdiction may mean different regulations apply. It’s good to make sure.
Also, your own goals may have changed. You may have discovered a charitable cause that you want to champion. Your current assets, such as the house you own, may have had a great increase (or decrease) in value.
Your estate planning needs to reflect any financial windfalls or setbacks.
Other situations may have changed
Unfortunately, your spouse or children or other heirs may pre-decease you. That will obviously mean changes to your will. Or, on a happier note, your children may get married, or have kids of their own. You’ll want to consider if you want to change any of your bequests.
Beyond your beneficiaries, there is the law to consider. There’s a pretty good chance that in your lifetime there will be changes to laws and regulations regarding estate planning. Your advisors may make you aware of any new laws, but a regular review of your will should ensure that all your wishes can be executed the way you want them to be.
Be safe – review regularly
You’ve gone through the trouble of writing out a will to make sure your loved ones are cared for when you’re gone – you should make sure that it’s still relevant. Normally, every five years should do it, but you should work with your advisor to arrange a schedule, so that you can have peace of mind.