Understandably, no one enjoys the topic of “what happens when I’m gone” so it’s no surprise that only 33% of the U.S. population has taken the steps to create a will for themselves. A will is a legal document that helps you to sort out your affairs and make decisions about your estate before you pass away. Making those decisions today allows you the peace of mind knowing your family (or worse, the state) won’t have to make such a personal decision on your behalf, in the future.
There are a lot of questions about when an estate plan is necessary to create, as well as when it needs to be updated. Creating your will online with GoodTrust allows you to update your estate plan as often as necessary without incurring additional fees. Here are a few occasions where updating your will is most important.
Change in Marital Status (marriage, divorce or remarriage)
A change in your relationship status is a great reason to update your will to be sure you clearly define who your current beneficiaries are. If your ex-spouse was listed as a beneficiary initially, you may want to adjust that, based on your circumstances. For those of you who have just tied the knot, you may not have anyone designated as a beneficiary yet, leaving your assets at risk of being wrongly distributed.
A Growing Family
Becoming a new parent, adopting a child or becoming a legal guardian, are all important reasons to update your will to make sure your dependents are taken care of. There are many benefits to this, all of which protect your child(ren) in the event that something happens to you. Here, you can designate a financial inheritance, a guardian should they ever need one, and document who is to receive which of your assets.
Buying a Home
Buying a new home significantly changes the size of your estate and therefore should be included in your will. Choosing the person you want to be the beneficiary of your home can greatly reduce the stress and tension in regards to who should receive this asset. In most cases, if you pass away without a will the state will favor the surviving spouse or domestic partner as the first beneficiary of the home, but having it in your will makes sure there is no guessing.
It Has Been Over 1 Year
As a general rule, it is recommended that you revisit your will every year. Stacking this with something you do regularly on a yearly basis is one easy way to remember. For example, if you check your smoke detectors on the first day of spring each year, taking a look at your estate plan at the same time is just one more way to make sure you are keeping your family protected.
Get Help Writing Your Will
Any of these life changes can be overwhelming, exciting and time consuming so it’s natural that the last thing on your mind is driving to an attorney’s office to start, or update, your will. At GoodTrust we offer you the opportunity to create your estate planning documents such as a will, but also your power of attorney, health care directives, end of life wishes and a pet directive to make sure your family pet is in good hands too. All this can be done right from your home in under 15 minutes.
You have worked hard, built a beautiful life for yourself and for your loved ones, and you want the best for them. Now it’s time to protect what matters.