When Should I Update My Will?

A List of Reasons to Review and Update Your Will


Once they make a will, many people will put it in a safe deposit box or leave a copy with their attorney, and forget about it. However, there are many reasons to review and update your will and other estate planning documents. Below is a checklist of events that may prompt you to do so:

  • The individuals you have named as beneficiaries are deceased.
  • New people need to be named as beneficiaries in your will (e.g. birth, adoption).
  • Divorce of marriage.
  • New state laws. You need to periodically check to see whether your state has enacted new laws that impact your estate planning documents. More importantly, if you move to a different state, don’t assume that your will made in your previous state conforms to the requirements of your new state. Each state has its own legal requirements for making a will.
  • Change in guardians, personal representatives, or trustees.
  • Children reach the age of 18.
  • There is a substantial increase of decrease in the value of your estate.
  • The acquisition of disposition of a significant asset (e.g. property, real estate, art work, etc).
  • You should see an attorney about reviewing and updating your estate plans prior to reaching 70 ½ years of age if you have an IRA, 401(k), or other qualified plan that requires you to begin to take distributions at age 70 ½. The beneficiary that you designated will have an irrevocable impact on both you and your beneficiary’s required distributions.
  • The passage of time is reason enough. You should review your will and estate planning documents every three to five years.

The estate planning attorneys at Integrity Law Group can help you with the creation of a will or answer any questions you might have . We will help you plan for the time when you cannot plan or act for yourself. For more information on estate planning or last will and testaments, contact Integrity Law Group online at any time or call us at (206) 838-8118.