You might have drafted a will years ago that you thought would have staying power. Like many people, you might have assumed that your relationships and assets would remain stable throughout your lifetime. Even if this has been the case, failing to account for any changes to them can have unintended effects. It is crucial, then, to know what events require you to update your will.
Certain events require updates
After a major life event happens, you will want to amend or rewrite your will to account for it. If you do not, it is possible your assets could pass on to someone you no longer want to have them – like your ex-spouse or a beneficiary’s ex-spouse. Furthermore, failing to account for certain events – like the death of a beneficiary or the acquisition of major assets – could subject some of your property to Ohio’s intestate succession laws. This situation could send your beneficiaries scrambling, especially if these laws are at odds with intentions you have communicated.
You will want to update your will if any of these events happen:
- You get married, divorced or remarried
- A beneficiary gets married, divorced or remarried
- You become a parent or grandparent
- A beneficiary or your executor dies
- You become estranged from a beneficiary or your executor
- A beneficiary experiences hardship, such as addiction or financial issues
- You acquire or sell major assets
- You start, sell or close a business
- You move to a different state or country
- State or federal tax codes change
Periodic updates are sometimes necessary
There may be times in your life when no major events happen. Yet, during these periods, you will still want to review your will periodically. Looking it over once every five years will give you the opportunity to amend or rewrite it if your intentions have changed.
No matter when or why you update your will, you will want your changes to be binding and valid. You may want to seek legal help to ensure that they are.