Is it Time for a Legal Checkup?

It’s important to visit your physician when you notice some change in your health. A medical checkup offers you a chance to discuss issues with your doctor, ask questions, and get professional input on your overall health. Like your annual exam with your doctor, a regular estate plan check-up with your attorney will help you minimize the risk of future unexpected hardships that might arise from incomplete or outdated documents.

 

Creating an estate plan is the first step in protecting your family and assets. However, circumstances often change, and relationships alter over time, determining if your will still accurately reflects your wishes and desires. Once you’ve created an estate plan, you cannot just shove it in your safe and forget about it. As a rule of thumb, you should review your estate plan every three to five years.

 

When should you consider a legal checkup or update to your estate plan?

 

You should consider a legal checkup or update your plan if the following events occur:

 

  •  The birth or adoption of a new child or grandchild
  •  A child or grandchild becomes an adult
  •  A child or grandchild needs educational funding
  •  Death or change in circumstances of the guardian named in your will for minor children
  •  Changes in your number of dependents, such as the addition of an adult for whom you will be responsible
  •  Change in your or your spouse’s financial or other goals
  •  Illness, disability, or death of your spouse
  •  Change in your life or long-term care insurance coverage
  •  Purchasing a home or other significant asset
  •  Borrowing a large amount of money or taking on liability for any other reason
  •  Significant increases or decreases in the value of assets, such as investments
  •  If you or your spouse receives a large inheritance or gift
  •  Changes in federal or state laws covering taxes and investments
  •  If any family member passes away, becomes ill, or becomes disabled
  •  Death or change in circumstance of your executor or trustee
  •  Career changes, such as a new job, promotion, or if you start or close a business

If you answered yes to any of the above, it’s time for a checkup.

 

Should you get a new will or a codicil to your will?

 

Whether you require a new will or a codicil depends on how significant a change you wish to make.

 

There are different ways to make a change depending on what changes you need to make. If you’re making a small change, like switching executors, you should be able to do so using a document called a codicil.

 

However, if you require a major change, you may need to prepare a new will to prevent any confusion, ensure your wishes are accurately carried out, and that the route you’re choosing is the best way forward. 

 

We can help you review and update a will if necessary. We can assist you by walking you through your goals in light of your new situation and analyze whether your documents achieve those goals. Call us today.

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.

FURTHER READING

Latest Blog Posts

While software developers are among the professions with the lowest divorce rates, coming in at 20.3%, workers in the technology sector who divorce face specific challenges during the divorce process. From how to locate and divide assets to determining parenting…

For parents, divorce often raises many questions surrounding extracurricular activities. These questions usually include whether the children will get to participate in the extracurricular activities (sports, performing arts classes, music lessons, art classes, etc.) they did before the divorce, expanded…

Divorce is a time of transition, which can bring about changes in your professional life as much as it can in your personal life. Perhaps you are one of the ones, like many, who have decided that a fresh start…

Becoming a single parent, especially after being married and having a partner to share in the physical and emotional labor, can be a challenging transition. The role of single parent, even for those in a healthy co-parenting relationship with their…

If you are in love and looking to plan a life with your partner, congratulations. This is an exciting time for you both, and the goal is that the relationship will stand the test of time. However, a recent study…

Divorce is not only about protecting assets and deciding who will keep the marital home afterward. Divorce is about re-envisioning your life following the end of a marriage and about discovering who you are today. This may include learning about…

The expression “in sickness and in health” is common in wedding ceremonies of all faiths. So when most people recite these words, it is probably safe to assume that they envision themselves married at a time when the unthinkable may…

Instead of marrying, increasingly, more couples are choosing to cohabitate outside of marriage. Many couples decide this for a variety of reasons, including testing the waters about whether they are suitable to live together as a couple or don’t believe…

Divorce can be a relatively straightforward process if you and your spouse are on good terms and can agree on certain issues in your case. In such a situation, you can file for an uncontested divorce which is often a…

One spouse’s diagnosis of a significant illness can impact a marriage in substantial ways. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, many aspects of a family (defined in various ways across the research) can be affected.…