Tips on effectively updating a will

While there are many guides to writing wills, people should still be aware of how often they should be reviewing their wills and the events that may necessitate updating them.

Most people living in Massachusetts have family, friends and other close loved ones who they wish to care for and ensure the best possible life. In order to allow these wishes to continue after they are dead and gone, many people elect to write a last will and testament. Writing a will isn’t just something that someone should do after learning he or she is afflicted with a terminal illness and only has a brief time left to live. Anyone who looks ahead wishing for certainty in their postmortem wishes being understood, and thus able to be carried out, may wish to compose a will at any time.

While a will is typically thought of as a static document, the fact remains that changes in life circumstances can happen unexpectedly. When such circumstances arise, it may behoove the author of the will, also known as the testator, to update the will in accordance with what he or she views as necessary and relevant to said changes. Knowing what types of events to prepare for and what experts say about the timing of will updates can help testators better anticipate when and how to make updates effectively.

The types of events that necessitate updating a will

There are a number of life events that may lead to someone needing to update his or her will. The American Association of Retired Persons has included some of the most common ones in the following list:

· Once children come of age, they will no longer need to have guardians included in a will.

· When coming upon a large inheritance or sum of money, a testator may wish to include it in his or her will.

· When a child is born, a guardian can be named who will care for the child in the event of the parent’s passing.

· Marriage or divorce can both mark points in time where a will should be updated.

While any of the above events may provide exigence for a change, some people may still wish to never update their wills, while others may wish to do so regularly even in absence of such events.

How often to review a will

Anyone can possibly live many years without any apparently major life changes taking place. Even in the absence of any of the events in the above section, it is still a good idea for people to review their wills every two or three years, to ensure that the language is current and up to date regarding the names stated in the will, the division of assets and various other factors.

If someone living in Massachusetts is drafting a will and wants to make sure it is written effectively and has all of the bases covered, it may be helpful to consult an attorney in the local area who practices estate planning law.