You should consider a will review periodically to keep it updated from time to time. We are sure that every few years things change in your life. We are also sure that every year your profits will increase or decrease. You may no longer be married to the same person and have moved on. Or someone you have included in your will may no longer be with you anymore. The reasons to review your will is immense and diversified.
When and How Often Should Will Review be Done?
1. Having kids
Having new children is one great reason why your will needs a review and an update. Some parents think that they rather wait till they are done having kids before doing a will to distribute their wealth. Although that is a valid reason, we should remind you that anything can happen to you even before your next child is born. For any valid reasons thereof, we strongly advise you to update your will as soon as your next child is born.
This also applies when you choose to adopt a child instead of having a biological child. The process of will writing to include an adopted child is slightly different. However, it’s not all that different entirely.
Generally, you will need to include any birth certificates of your biological children as proof of relations and identity. If your child is adopted, you can provide their adoption papers in place.
2. Married or having re-married
After marriage, it’s always great to have a look into reviewing your will. Most people may not have a will written before they got married for 2 possible reasons:
- Not having a positive net worth and assets. They may not have enough money or assets to their name.
- Never thought they will marry or re-marry anytime in the future.
However, this is where their assumptions and beliefs are flawed. Even though if you do not have a positive net worth, it’s still great to have your will ready at hand anyway. This is because if you did not marry, at least your assets and monies will go to your next of kin.
It’s the same when people think they will never marry (or re-marry) in the future. The main reason is pretty obvious though. As above mentioned, even though if you did not marry or re-marry, you will still have to name someone as your beneficiary.
If you name your spouse as your accounts and assets’ beneficiaries, you will need your marriage certificate as proof. Once approved, your spouse will be named as a beneficiary.
For obvious reasons, when you’ve divorced you will want to look into reviewing and changing your will. The circumstances can vary as you may be in a situation where you have signed a pre-nuptial. Pre-nuptials may or may not affect your will as there are certain circumstances and properties that are and should be separated from your present marriage.
However, when you write a will meant for your current marriage, then that will is applied to your current marriage. Whatever is included in that will you have signed with your present partner still stands.
That means when you have divorced, there may or may not have clauses in the will that say your divorced ex will get anything from you unless clearly stated. However, in the event where you no longer wish to include your spouse in your will anymore (read: don’t want your ex to be part of your life in any way or form anymore including your will) then you will need to produce a divorce certificate.
The divorce certificate is one of many legal documents to remove your spouse from your will. However, we are sure that you would have named your spouse as your beneficiary when you’ve passed away. If you named your spouse as your properties’ beneficiary or trustee, then you will have to produce the deed as proof. Only then are you allowed to go forward with the spouse’s removal from your will.
4. Acquiring new wealth, properties, and similar assets
This is pretty straightforward. When you have acquired new wealth and assets to your name, it is important that you include that in your will too. Again, we are sure you do not want it to be divided up the way your country or state’s laws will do it. It does not matter if it’s a small increase in wealth or a big one. As long as you have acquired a substantial amount of wealth, you should try to have that sorted out.
5. No longer in contact with your trustees or executor
A trustee or executor is a person who carries out the division of wealth and other assets when you have passed away. In a lot of cases, most people will name someone they know. They may appoint their spouse, their kids, their siblings, or even their grandparents as trustees or executors. At times they may even appoint a godmother or a close family friend as their trustee.
However, what people do not understand is that they can stop talking to people after some time. Maybe they’ve drifted apart, probably got into a fight and part ways, and so on. Having said that, they may want to find a new trustee to replace their current appointment.
If you wish to change trustees, you will first need to get consent and agreement with all the parties involved. Even if 1 person in any of the parties doesn’t agree, then you will have to find someone else or wait until that disagreeing person agrees. Sometimes, wanting to change a trustee can take many years to settle just because 1 person disagrees.
Let’s say in a scenario everyone agrees on changing the trustee, you can go to a trust maker to update the trustee. Everyone will then sign on the new trust (including the new trustee). That means you will now have a new trustee!
In conclusion, it’s great to review and update your will periodically to make sure everything is up to date. The above list is some of the examples of why you should review your will periodically. Even when you are not in those situations, it’s always great to review your will every few years. That way you will know what you’ve had in your will.