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When should I make changes to my will?

Estate planning is a critical way to protect yourself, your assets and your wishes for the future. With tools like a will, trusts, power of attorney designations and medical directives, you can establish what you want and don't want to happen in the event of death or incapacity.

Creating a plan is a solid and wise decision, but it is crucial that you review and update your plan periodically. An outdated will, for instance, can ultimately cause more problems than it solves. Below are seven events that should trigger a review of your will and other elements of your plan.

  1. You get married
  2. You get divorced
  3. You have children, or your children have children
  4. You gain or lose a significant sum of money
  5. You are diagnosed with a serious illness
  6. You move to a different state
  7. You change your mind about heirs or financial contributions

Each of these events can be significant enough to warrant an update to your will, as they will have an impact on who is included in your plan, how your assets may be distributed and/or what type of long-term care you may need. Decisions you may have made initially may no longer be feasible or in your best interests when you go through these events.

In order to ensure your will is properly updated, it is important that you consult an attorney familiar with estate planning laws in Wisconsin. Failure to do so could be a costly mistake, as your will could be contested or deemed unenforceable.

Even if you ultimately decide not to change your will, regularly reviewing it and other estate planning documents is recommended. Not only will it help you spot outdated information, regularly reviewing your estate plan will also provide you and your loved ones with the peace of mind in knowing that it still reflects your wishes accurately.

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