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Why wills need to be updated frequently

Having a will is one thing, but frequently updating it is a different proposition altogether. Many people don't have wills -- so simply by having one, you are ahead of the game.

But many people who have wills fail to frequently and properly update them -- and those that do are in an even better position. So why is this so, and when should you update your will?

To answer the first part of the question: if you leave your will unattended for many years, it is highly likely that the document will no longer reflect your wishes for your estate. Your relationships may have changed since you last updated it, or your assets may have changed. This is a critical reason why keeping your will updated is important.

To answer the second part of the question: there are many things that could happen that could trigger the need to update your will. Did you get married recently or file for divorce? Did you have a child? Did your child turn 18? All of these are reasons to update your will. There could also be changes to your estate (such as a dramatic increase or decrease in the estate's value) or to state laws that pertain to wills and estates. Again, this should warrant a review and update to your will. And last but not least, your beneficiaries may have passed away, or your relationship with any of your beneficiaries may have changed.

Source: FindLaw, "Checklist: Reasons to Update Your Will & Estate Planning Documents," Accessed Dec. 7, 2017

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