22 Reasons to Update Your Will Now
Divorce, death of a spouse, adoption of a child, marriage, or birth of a grandchild. These major life events and others may make it necessary to update your New York will and estate plan.
The following events may require you to update your will so that it is coordinated with your other estate planning documents and non-probate assets. This will ensure that your wishes are carried out.
(1). There is a major change in your assets or financial status, such as the purchase or sale of real estate or you inherit money.
(2). You adopt a child or pet; or a new child or grandchild is born.
(3). A fiduciary, named in your will, such as the executor, trustee, custodian or guardian has died, moved, been convicted of a felony or become incapacitated.
(4). Your spouse dies.
(5). You get married which creates a whole new set of gift, Medicaid and estate tax planning opportunities.
(6). You get divorced which necessitates removal of your ex-spouse as a beneficiary and fiduciary and an update of the beneficiary designations in your life insurance and retirement plans, including IRAs and 401(k)s.
(7). You start, purchase or sell a business.
(8). You move to another state.
(9). A will beneficiary or fiduciary marries or divorces. For example, if a couple named as co-guardians or trustees for your children get divorced.
(10). Estate, gift or income tax laws change.
(11). A will beneficiary becomes disabled or goes on Medicaid or SSI. Add a Supplemental Needs Trust which enables the disabled beneficiary to maintain eligibility for government benefits, primarily Medicaid and SSI.
(12). You create a Living (Intervivos) Trust .
(13). You open joint or payable on death bank or stock accounts.
(14). Your children reach the age of 18.
(15). Your beneficiaries have judgments against them.
(16). You wish to add a favorite charity as a will beneficiary.
(17). You purchase life insurance.
(18). You lend money to a relative.
(19). Family conflict results in you disinheriting a child. A no contest clause should be added to your will.
(20). You have made gifts, such as transferring your home with a life estate deed.
(21). You wish to leave a specific item, such as a motorcycle, real estate, guns, digital assets or jewelry to a certain individual. Leave a list of your login IDs and passwords for access to financial accounts, social media and email.
(22). It has been many years since your will was last prepared.
Consult with a New York estate planning attorney to have your will properly prepared.