Discussing a will isn’t exciting, but it’s an important conversation that can give you peace of mind. The next step involves creating a customized estate plan. Each individual’s goals, wishes, and assets are unique, and the estate plan should reflect that.
This is important because most state laws regarding inheritance are purposefully basic, with belongings given to next of kin. If you like your cousin a lot more than your brother, tough luck, they’re further down the inheritance.
Unfortunately, too many of us are writing a will, filing it away, and forgetting about it. This is a mistake.
It’s recommended you look at your will at least once every five years. Here are a few things it could be very important to keep updated:
The sad truth is most of our pets won’t live as long as us. If your will doesn’t reflect this, you may have made arrangements for the wrong animal.
Another thing to consider is how many animals you have. When you first drafted your will, you may have only had one cat but now there’s three. It isn’t a big change and it likley won’t take long to make, but ensuring all of your pets are cared for may be very important to you.
People find new hobbies and interests all the time. Have you decided to donate to the National Wildlife Fund after volunteering? Does your will reflect your intent to support a non-profit that you love?
If you’ve discovered new foundations or charities that you plan to leave money or assets to, it can be a good idea to make sure you have that reflected in your will.
Facebook passwords change regularly. Same with phone, email and Amazon accounts. Do you know where your iTunes library goes once you pass on? What about your collection of digital photo albums?
Because we accumulate things online so quickly, it can be important to have a plan in your will that states what should happen to them.
Digital assets are becoming one of the more important aspects of an estate, and keeping your estate plan updated could help ensure you can distribute them as you see fit.
Updating your will doesn’t have to take long, and it can give you a lot of relief knowing that all of your wishes have been accounted for.
If you have any questions about creating a will or keeping it current, it can be important to talk to someone who specializes in estate planning and management.