While staying home, cleaning and organizing, find your Last Will and Testament and review it.
Why This is a Good Time
Some of us who are now working from home more are cleaning closets and drawers. This is a good time to do it because cleaning usually results in donations. There are a lot of people who need a little extra help now. They will appreciate donations of food, clothing, furniture, and household items. And spring naturally makes us want to declutter and renew our space.
While you are cleaning, you’ll eventually have to tackle your paperwork. This is not a favorite. But, while you are there, it is a good time to locate and review your Last Will & Testament.
Our Usual Recommendations for Review
When a client signs their estate planning documents, we remind them that it is important to review them yearly. Pick a time that is easy to remember, and then put a reminder on your calendar. “Every year at tax time” is a popular one.
Events that Signal Change
There are many reasons to change or update a will. Here are the most common:
- You now have a minor child, and had no children when your will was made.
- Your minor children are now adults, and your current will was written when they were minors.
- You move to a new state.
- There are changes in the laws that may affect you.
- Your net worth increases (you win the lottery, inherit money, or otherwise increase your assets through hard work).
- Your net worth decreases, and your current estate plan is too complicated for what you now own.
- Someone who is named in your will as a beneficiary dies, becomes disabled, or terminates their relationship with you.
- Someone who is named in your will as a Executor or Trustee dies, becomes disabled, moves far away, or terminates their relationship with you.
- You want more control over how your estate is distributed.
- You want less control over how your estate is distributed. (Your current will is very specific, and you want your Executor to have more freedom to make decisions).
- You are facing health issues, especially a terminal illness or memory loss.
When to Call your Lawyer
If you review your will and everything looks current, great! You are finished until next year!
But, if you see something that is outdated or see something that you don’t understand, it is time to make an appointment!
Author – Attorney Bob Kalish
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