Estate plans ensure that you and your loved ones are protected, no matter what the future holds. However, establishing a will is not a one-time event; as you age and your needs change, your will should be amended to reflect these new shifts. For example, if you created a will when you were in your 30s or 40s and haven’t looked at it since, it’s definitely time to review the document to ensure that your wishes are still protected. Let’s take a look at four reasons why you may need to update your will in Washington State.
Reason #1: You’ve Moved
Any time that you sell or purchase a new home, you should update your will to ensure that your current address is listed on the document. Should the unthinkable happen, you don’t want to leave your children in the unfortunate position of dealing with a will that lists an old residence as part of the estate when it had actually been sold off years ago. Additionally, if you’ve moved to the Spokane Valley area from out of state, make sure your will has been updated in accordance with Washington state requirements.
Reason #2: Your Financial Situation or Family Structure Has Changed
If your financial reality has expanded or decreased substantially since you last updated your will, you should reassess the will and make any necessary adjustments. Or, you may have become estranged from one of your children and no longer wish to leave a portion of your estate to this beneficiary. Perhaps you remarried, and you want to amend your will so that your new spouse is allocated a larger portion of your estate. Whether you experience a fluctuation in your finances or the number of beneficiaries has changed, make sure to update your will accordingly.
Reason #3: You Want to Give Back
For some people, retirement offers the opportunity to become more involved in community projects or charities. You may have devoted yourself to a nonprofit organization whose mission resonates with your core values, or perhaps you’ve begun to serve as a board member for a beloved charity. If you’re interested in exploring ways in which you can continue to financially support these charitable organizations even after you are gone, talk to an estate planning attorney about your options for allocating funds to such groups in your will or through a trust.
Reason #4: You Wish to Support a Primary Caregiver
In your later years, you may begin to rely more on a family member or loved one for support. This person may run errands for you, keep your house tidy, or simply listen to you when you need someone to talk to. Many older individuals decide to update their will to ensure that a cherished caregiver receives a fair amount of financial support after you pass away. However, if you are concerned that other beneficiaries may question this decision, make sure you explain your intentions clearly, both in person and in your will, so that legal arguments can be minimized later on.
For more information about estate planning and elder law in the Spokane Valley area, contact Legacy Law Group at (509) 315-8087 today to speak to a knowledgeable and dedicated attorney.