How to Tell If It’s Time to Change Your Will

Current research shows that only about half of Americans have a will, and probably less than that have changed their wills when certain life circumstances dictate that a change is in order.  There are several common occurrences that can trigger a change to your will:

Marriage.  A will dictates how you want your assets distributed upon your death, and when you marry, you will likely want your spouse to inherit.  If you have children from another marriage, you will need to account for their inheritance as well. You’ll very likely want to add on a Trust to protect and provide for children of a prior marriage, if you do not have one already.

Birth of a Child.  A will allows you to name a guardian for your minor children in case you and your spouse die before your children reach the age of 18.  (You will also want to legally protect your children with a Kids Protection Plan®, which gives you the critical legal tools you need to name and provide guidance to short- and long-term guardians as well as have medical power of attorney over minor children in case they are injured when you aren’t with them and exclude anyone you know you would never want to raise your child(ren).)

Middle Age.  As we get older, we usually accumulate more assets, which may include valuable antiques, art collections, etc.  These assets can be distributed to your heirs via your will, and should be included as they are acquired.

Divorce.  If you get a divorce and then die without changing your will, your ex can inherit your assets.

Widowed. If your spouse predeceases you, you will need to revise your will to distribute assets to heirs who are still alive.

Relocation.  Since state laws differ on inheritance, you should have your will reviewed and updated if you relocate to another state.

If you wish to avoid probate altogether, then you should consider placing your assets in a trust so they pass to your heirs directly without the expense and hassle of a drawn-out court process.

As a Personal Family Lawyer®, I can further advise you on all your options and make things as easy as possible for your family during a Family Wealth Planning Session.  If you would like to have a talk about estate planning for your family, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.

To your family’s health, wealth and happiness!

David Feakes

P.S.  Want to get started on the most important planning you’ll ever do for your family?  Give our office a call at (978) 263-6900 to get started.  You’ll be so glad you did.

David Feakes is the owner of The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC – a law firm for families in the Acton, Massachusetts area.  David helps parents protect the people they love the most.  If you would like to receive David’s exclusive, free report, “Six Major Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An Estate Planning Attorney,”  you can get it right here.

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At The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, we answer your questions at your convenience; we stay in frequent communication; and we meet to discuss changes in life circumstances and in the law to ensure that your assets are protected.

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