It is a good rule of thumb to update your estate plan or will approximately once every three to five years. This accounts for regular cost of living increases and minor circumstantial changes.
After a major life event (marriage, divorce, having a child, job change, financial decision) is another good time to update your will. Here are some suggestions to ponder.
Your will should be an accurate reflection of your wishes and goals
Failure to update your will could result in a probate judge redistributing your assets in a way that does not align with your wishes. After getting married or having a child is an ideal time to update your will. You now have new people that you want to take care of down the line.
Note any changes in your financial situation
If you acquire or sell a significant asset, it is important to update your estate plan to reflect these changes. Your estate plan should accurately reflect your current assets and debts, and leaving it as-is could saddle your loved ones with unexpected challenges or burdens.
Monitor any legal or administrative changes
Keep up to date with changes in your state laws or administrative regulations. The State of Florida saw at least eight legislative changes in 2020 alone, according to the Florida Bar Association. You do not want an overlooked ruling to affect you after it is too late.
Modify your documents if a loved one passes away
Beneficiary designations can be especially thorny if the person you identified in writing is no longer eligible. All changes to a will or estate plan must be faithful to the proper legal procedures.