When should people update their wills?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2022 | estate planning |

Plans can change throughout people’s lives as circumstances change. When people are forced to change different aspects of their lives, it can affect more than just the specific part of their life where the change in circumstances occurred. People need to take time to reevaluate all aspects of their lives in certain situations. This can include reviewing and potentially updating their wills.

Many people in Illinois execute their wills at a fairly young age when they first have children or start to have enough assets that they want to go to certain people. Over the years though life takes twists and turns. People named as personal representatives or guardians may no longer be in a position to handle those responsibilities. The lives of the beneficiaries and people’s relationships with the beneficiaries may change as well.

Events that should trigger a review of wills

While not every change in people’s lives will require them to update their wills, if the following events occur it may be a good time to review their wills. These include, but are not limited to, if people have a marriage, divorce or second marriage; the birth of a child or death in the family; making a large purchase and major changes in their debt; starting or closing a business; a falling out with people named in the will or a change in the circumstances of a beneficiary who may have more needs afterwards.

When these types of events occur it is good to review your will even if ultimately no changes are made. It helps refresh people on the contents of their will so they know what events may trigger a need to modify the will.

It is smart for people in Illinois to have wills in place to ensure that their possessions go to the proper beneficiaries. However, if people forget to update heir wills, they will be stuck with whatever is stated in the will even if they no longer want a certain beneficiary to receive any gifts. Modifying a will needs to be done correctly though just like drafting an original will to be valid. Experienced attorneys understand how to do this properly and may be able to guide one through the process.

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