How often should I update my Will?
Life is ever-changing, and so are your wishes and assets. Contrary to popular belief, updating your Last Will and Testament is not a one-time event but rather an ongoing process. While some may let years go by without reviewing their will, it's important to ensure it reflects your current situation and intentions. Here are some significant life events that should prompt you to update your will:
- Becoming a homeowner or experiencing an increase in property value - whether you’ve bought your first home or your property's value has surged, your will should reflect these changes to ensure fair distribution.
- Paying off a debt - once a significant debt is cleared, you may wish to reallocate your assets differently.
- Acquiring New Assets - this includes not only property but also investments, heirlooms, or any valuable items you'd like to pass on.
- Receiving an inheritance - inheriting assets, money, or property should trigger a will update to account for your newfound wealth.
- Marriage or common-law partnership – entering a marriage or common-law relationship often leads to joint ownership of assets, and your will should reflect how you want these to be managed or distributed.
- Having children or grandchildren - new family members may mean new beneficiaries, and your will should indicate who will act as their guardian should something happen to you.
- Separation or divorce - major changes in your relationship status necessitate a will update, especially if your spouse was a primary beneficiary or executor.
- Starting or closing a business - business ownership adds complexity to your estate. You may need to name a successor or outline how the business assets are to be distributed.
Given the dynamic nature of life, it's advisable to review your will regularly, preferably every few years or whenever you experience a significant life event. Ensuring your will is up to date can provide you with peace of mind and serve the best interests of your loved ones.