The end of the year is here and is a great time to clean up your estate affairs. If you don’t have documents in place, it is a good time to start!
Don’t assume that once you create your will the hard work is over. You should revisit your estate plan from time to time, the rule of thumb is every 3 to 5 years, or especially for life changes such as a marriage, divorce, birth or death. Below are some things to consider when it comes time to update your will:
- Updating your executors and guardians – Wills usually name specific individuals as executors or guardians for any minor children. Over time relationships can change and you may not be as close to the people you once considered for this role, or they could pass away, become incapable or unwilling to fill this role. Make sure you review this and choose another person if they are more suitable.
- Beneficiaries – Review your beneficiaries – Big life events such as a marriage or divorce, a birth or death, or perhaps a change in circumstances may cause you to revisit your choices. Make sure that an individual named as your beneficiary is who you want to inherit that asset.
- Asset Information – The value of your estate may have changed, perhaps you have sold or purchased a property or business since your last will and need to update your information.
- Review Your Insurance and Investments – You should also review your stocks, retirement accounts and insurance policies, and any other investments. If there are changes you need to add, such as a change in the stock market or new beneficiaries on your insurance policy, you should update that information.
- Protect Your Pets – Your pets play an important role and of course you want to protect them too. Who do you want to take care of them? Can they handle the costs, or do they need financial support? Is that person someone you know can provide them with love and care? Failing to add pet protection to your estate plan may have your pets end up in the wrong hands in the event of your passing.
- Change of Heart – Sometimes you just change your mind about things in your will as time goes on. Your thinking may change as you grow older so it may be worthwhile to review your original will.
Veronica Armstrong Law Corporation is here to help with your estate planning needs, visit our website at https://valc.ca/