Creating your last will might be one of the most challenging days in your life. While no one wants to think about their inevitable passing, you still need to indicate where your assets go after you pass away, as well as other important things like care of any dependents you may have. Even if you fear causing family issues with your will, you need to create one to head off any possible conflict that could arise when the time comes.
One great thing about wills is that you can change your mind anytime you want. If you’d like to change any details regarding the beneficiaries of your assets, you can freely do so by calling your lawyer to get the changes done for you. But one question still stands—when should you change or update your will?
If you’ve already created your will while you’re still single, getting married may mean updating your will. After you pass away, by law, many of your assets will go to your spouse. However, if you fail to update your will, you might be leaving your widowed spouse with nothing on their hands, depending on the laws of the state and country in which you reside. So, if you want your partner to inherit specific assets, be sure to update your will to specify your wishes.
Adding a Successor
You can assign just about anyone to be your successor or beneficiary. Whether it’s trusted friends or family member, you can divide your assets among just about as many people as you desire. If you want to ensure there is no squabbling after your death, you can also assign an executor of your will who you trust will carry out your final wishes.
If you and your spouse decide to split, you will need to update your last will following your divorce. Depending on where you’re residing, some states have laws that invalidate your last will if you’ve included your former spouse—however, some other areas may still treat your will as valid even with an official divorce.
To secure your assets, you should update your will and assign your assets to your desired beneficiaries. This will prevent any conflicts after your death that could cause disputes between your family and your previous spouse.
A New Child
Whether you have recently had a new child through birth or adoption, you should update your will and provide them either all of your assets or their proper amount of percentage as divided among all of your children or other beneficiaries. With this, you’ll be able to avoid any future sibling rivalry issues when it comes to getting their designated inheritance.
When it comes to adding your new child to your will, you should also be designating their respective guardians just in case you pass away while they’re still minors. Remember to choose a trusted family member or friend that can take good care of your child. It’ll be ideal if they know each other well before your death to make for an easier transition.
Adding your stepchildren to your last will would depend on your choice. You’re not obliged to give them any inheritance when you pass away. However, if you’d like to provide them with a portion of your property, you should update your will after you get married to their parent.
Death of Beneficiaries
If you’ve already added your spouse and your child to your last will and one of them has passed away, you should update your will and reassign their shares to other beneficiaries. In this way, you’ll be able to avoid any potential loophole that could cause a dispute if you passed away and some of your assets didn’t have an assigned beneficiary.
Changing Your Children’s Guardians
If the guardian you chose for your children passes suddenly, or they’ve shown that they are not appropriate guardians for your children, you can freely change your assigned guardian to people who you trust better. When deciding with your guardians, make sure that they’re capable and healthy enough to take care of your children. Along with this, you should inform them that you’re putting your children’s future into their hands if you pass away.
Having a Dispute with Your Heir
If you have an intense dispute with your assigned heir, you can choose to remove them from your will and reassign their shares to other people. But before you go ahead and make the changes official, you need to make sure that you have a calm heart and mind to guarantee that you’re not making any decisions based on your emotions. When you decide with your emotions, you might not be making the wisest decision for your will, and you may end up regretting your choice.
Your Child Gets Married
If you’re not comfortable with your future son- or daughter-in-law having the ability to take a part of your assets after you’ve passed away, you may want to change your will and remove your married child from your will. However, if you’d still like to add your child into your will without the intervention of their future spouse, you may offer a prenuptial agreement wherein your single child would be the only one responsible for your assets, and you’re not assigning anything else for your future in-law.
Creating your will can be a challenging thing to do, especially with plenty of possible conflicts that may arise while you’re making one and when you pass away. However, when it comes to your assets, you should be the one in charge of where you want them to go.
Moreover, you have the liberty to update your will depending on any circumstances that have come along the way. Just make sure that you’re putting a trusted person into your will as they’ll handle your assets after you pass away.