The older you get, the more important it is to have an estate plan in place. The most important part of the estate plan is often the will, as it is the document that will specify how your assets will be distributed upon your debt. However, simply creating a will is not enough. It is important that you periodically update your will so that it accounts for any changes that occur in your life.
One of the most important aspects of keeping up-to-date documentation is to allow for a smooth transition and distribution of assets and to ensure your desires are properly executed by your heirs and assigns.
What life changes may warrant a modification?
Experts generally recommend that you meet with your attorney to update your will every few years or anytime you experience a major change in your life. Some of these major changes may include:
- Marriage or divorce
- Death of a beneficiary
- Gifts given to children
- Purchase a new home
- Increase or decrease in the size of your estate
- Adult child becomes your primary caregiver
Creating a will is only the beginning of the estate planning process in Pennsylvania. Ensuring that your will is up to date can alleviate the burden on family and friends after your passing and avoid a lengthy probate process. Clearly prescribing the distribution of assets will prevent further distress at an already stressful time. If you are unsure whether your will or other estate planning documents need to be updated, consider consulting with an estate administration attorney to have your documentation reviewed.