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When should you update your will?

One of the most important documents a person can have in their estate plan is a will. A will lets your loved ones know your last wishes, including what should happen to your possessions and who will receive inheritance. One of the biggest advantages of having a will is that it not only lets your family know your wishes but it should help prevent disputes between family members after you are gone.

Having a will can be very beneficial, but it is important for individuals to remember to review and modify their will as necessary to make sure it is up-to-date and correct. Updating a will is not a difficult process but many people are not sure how often to review their will and when to make changes.

Changes may happen to a person's family all the time but there are certain times when it is essential to update your will to ensure that your wishes will be carried out in the event of your death. Whenever you move, your will should be updated to reflect current estate planning laws. It is very important to review and make changes to your will after moving to a different state because the will may no longer be valid under new state laws and guidelines. 

Another reason to update your will is when you acquire an additional amount of money that significantly changes your wealth. This includes having acquiring more money as well as additional properties, vehicles and even jewelry.

It is also important to review and update your will whenever there are new family members or when someone gets divorced. Not including new children or removing an ex from your will can cause arguments and hurt feelings down the road.

In addition to updating your will after these life changes, it is important to review your will every couple of years to make sure everything is correct and up-to-date. If the will needs to be revised, take steps to update your will now before it's too late.

Source: FindLaw, "Top 5 Reasons to Update Your Will," Betty Wang, Aug. 15, 2013