Since life is ultimately unpredictable, it’s wise to take a proactive approach to estate planning. You should consider drafting a last will and testament as soon as possible, for example, instead of waiting until you’ve reached old age. In doing so, you’ll be able to put certain protections in place that ensure your loved ones are taken care of in all eventualities.
It’s important to remember, however, that your circumstances will inevitably change over time. That means if you do write a last will sooner rather than later, you should be prepared to review it periodically. Chances are you’ll need to modify its terms on occasion, so they always align with your current situation.
Read on for some of the most common scenarios that should prompt a review of your last will:
1. Changing Your Marital Status
Whether getting married or divorced, you’re probably going to want to update your estate plan. While the laws of intestate succession grant certain rights to spouses—and take them away from ex-spouses—modifying your will is the only way to ensure your precise wishes will be honored.
2. Having Children or Grandchildren
Whenever you gain a new descendant, you should consider whether you want to include them in your last will. If they rely on you financially, it’s also advisable to update other aspects of your estate. You might want to purchase life insurance, for example, to ensure they have ample financial security in the event of your passing.
3. Starting a Business
Every business should have a succession plan. If you start a company, make sure the terms of your will are in line with the succession plan. This will help mitigate disputes in the event of your untimely passing.
4. Moving out of State
Every state has slightly different laws when it comes to estate planning. That means if you relocate, some of the terms in your will may no longer be enforceable. Consequently, you’re going to want to review the document carefully with an attorney who practices in your new home state as soon as you get settled.
5. Acquiring a Major Asset
Whether you win the lottery, buy a home, or receive an inheritance, you shouldn’t wait too long to add the new asset to your will. Otherwise, the state will decide how it’s distributed upon your passing, which may not actually be consistent with your wishes.
Discuss Your Case with an Estate Planning Attorney in Michigan
For help writing or updating your will, turn to the knowledgeable team at Smith & Johnson. Our estate and trust attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of wealth transfers, as well as probate, guardianships, contested wills, and special needs trusts.
We’ll address your concerns, answer your questions, and ultimately help you decide how best to plan for the future, so your family is protected no matter what. To schedule a free initial consultation with an estate planning lawyer in Michigan, call 231-946-0700 or submit our Contact Form.