When Should I Re-Do My Will?
If you have an existing Will, that’s a great start. However, as your life changes, so will your Estate Planning needs.
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend that client’s review their Wills every 3-5 years to ensure that it still reflects their wishes. That said, here are a few of the triggers that should get you thinking about re-doing your Will:
- If you marry or start a family, you’ll want an estate plan that ensures your loved ones are taken care of after you are gone. A Will is vital when you have children. Minor children can be provided for through Trusts set up for their health, maintenance, welfare and education. Guardianship issues can also be addressed if something happens to both parents. Wouldn’t you rather choose who gets to raise and care for your children?
- A major life event such as a divorce, should also trigger a review of your current Estate Planning to ensure that it meets your current needs;
- As your net worth increases, proper Estate Planning becomes vital. You will need to address tax issues and discuss with your Lawyer and Accountant the best way to minimize the probate fees and taxes payable, in order to maximize your beneficiary’s inheritance;
- If you have adult children who are still dependent on you, you can make sure they have financial support for the rest of their lives by setting up a Trust. Whether this be for a disability, or otherwise;
- If you’re thinking of leaving a spouse (including a common law spouse) or child out of your Will, or giving them less than they might reasonably expect, they may decide to contest your Estate, which is allowed under current legislation. This could result in the Court changing your Will to give your spouse and/or child(ren) a greater share of your Estate than you would have liked. Be sure to consult with a Lawyer on this who will be able to discuss your options with you and create an Estate Plan designed to minimize these claims.
Those are just some of the reasons to review your Will. Reviewing and updating your Will gives you peace of mind that you have cared for your loved ones in the very best way you can. The last few years have been rife with change for most us as we all realize how fragile life is, and how very precious our loved ones are to us. Don’t leave your Estate Planning until it is too late.