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4 appropriate times to update a will

Wills are important documents all adults need to have to prevent legal complexities upon their passing. Unfortunately, a Gallup poll indicates that only 44 percent of adults in the United States actually have a will set up. This is down from 51 percent of adults having a will in 2005.

Drafting an initial will is just the beginning. People need to create their wills early on in life, and then the document requires updates as the years go on. There are numerous life events where it would be prudent to take a look at a will and see if changes are necessary.

1. Significant change in family dynamic

When families grow, parents and grandparents need to update their wills. Changes can include:

  • Getting married
  • Getting divorced
  • Losing a spouse
  • Becoming a parent
  • Becoming a grandparent

These situations influence which people receive what following a person’s death. Even if the person in question is still relatively young, it is never too soon to start making alterations to a will.

2. Experiencing good financial fortune

This does not necessarily involve winning the lottery. Gaining a promotion or starting a new successful business can also lead to a person having more income. In these situations, the increase in money may influence the amount of cash loved ones receive upon death.

3. Experiencing a financial setback

Alternatively, people may lose a significant amount of income. This could be the result of losing a job or going through tough times during an economic recession. The amount of money loved ones can receive may need to change.

4. Going through bad health

When experiencing a severe illness, people often do not want to think about litigation. However, it is important to maintain foresight and prepare for the worst. Experiencing bad health is a good time to contact an attorney to review pertinent documents. Additionally, any time people update wills, it needs to be clear this is the most current and accurate version of the will.  

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