Creating a will is one of the best steps any Nevada resident can take to ensure that surviving family members understand certain end-of-life wishes. Of course, this and other estate planning documents are only helpful if the information in them is up-to-date and reflects the most current circumstances possible.
If you believe you can create a will and never have to look at it again, that action will likely not be enough to see your family through the probate process. In fact, an outdated will may prove about as effective as not having created the document in the first place. Still, you may wonder when the best times are to update your will.
When should you update your will?
In truth, it is wise to review and update estate-planning documents every few years to be on the safe side. However, some life changes or other events could present the need to update plans sooner. For instance, you may want to update your plans if any of the following events have occurred:
- If heirs or beneficiaries named in the will have died
- If tax laws have changed
- If you have gotten married or divorced
- If you have welcomed new children or grandchildren
- If a loved one is born with or has developed a disability that results in special needs
- If you had a significant change in assets
- If you move to another state
- If family dynamics have changed
Of course, these reasons are only a few that could present the need for updating an estate plan.
Can you update your plan in other ways?
While your will can play an integral part in your estate plan, it does not need to stand alone. As you review your plan, you may realize that adding additional planning tools, like trusts and health care directives, could allow you to create a more comprehensive plan that will help you and your loved ones in the event of various scenarios, like incapacitation or mental decline.
Getting started on a will is a wise first step for estate planning, but do not just set it and forget it. Taking the time to review and update your plan when an event or change of mind triggers the need could help prevent unnecessary strife and confusion in the future. Consulting with an estate-planning attorney could give you further insight into the topic of updating plans.