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When Should I Review My Will?

will and testament

Too many people draft their last will and testament1 and then simply forget about it or do not revisit the matter for decades. Little do they know that if they pass away suddenly, an out-of-date will can cause numerous issues for surviving family members. Many things may change over time and require changes to a will of which you did not consider. For this reason, you should always have an experienced trusts, estates, and probate attorney assisting you with your estate planning and letting you know when the time comes for review and possibly revise your will or trust.

At the Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, our probate attorneys will always advise you on a good time to reevaluate your estate plan, so please contact us today in Seattle at (206) 621-1110 or in Tacoma at (253) 572-1000.

Choosing an Executor: If you make a will when your children are very young, as many people tend to do, you likely chose a parent, sibling, or other relative as executor of your estate2 should both you and your spouse pass away. However, if you die 20 years later, your children will be adults and at least one of them will likely be responsible enough to handle your estate. If you never revised your will, however, your children will have to step aside and let someone else with less knowledge of your affairs take over. Moreover, a parent you named as executor 20 years before may not be able to handle the responsibilities any more.

If a Life Event Occurs: Reviewing and revising your will after every major life event is highly important. If you get married, have children, adopt a child, get divorced, or any other milestone, you should always adjust your will accordingly.

Adjusting Wealth Disposition: Originally, it is likely that you distributed your wealth equally between your children. Over time, however, many things can happen that may change your distribution wishes. For example, if one child borrowed a large amount of money from you for school, to buy a home, or to start a business, you may wish to take that debt out of his or her inheritance to be fair to your other children.

These are only a few examples of reasons to review your will on a regular basis. If you need help with any estate planning needs, call one of our lawyers for help today