Many things can change in life after you compose your will. This is why you should never think your will is set in stone. You may have to revisit it again and again over the course of your life. You might want to remove provisions that made sense at the time, revise existing provisions, or create new ones.
There are many reasons to revisit your will. Any event that changes your priorities for your estate can be a good enough reason to revise your estate plans. Kiplinger explains some of the common circumstances that cause people to modify their wills.
Changing family dynamics
A lot of things can happen to your children as time moves on. You may have put aside money for your children in a trust when they were young, but now they have grown into responsible adults. You might alter your will so they can receive their inheritance without conditions imposed by a trust.
Conversely, you may have a child or heir who has fallen into drug use or substantial debt. Here, you may do the opposite and revise your will so your heir does not receive money directly from you but will instead get money from a trust under specific conditions.
After inheriting from a deceased relative or experiencing a boost in your salary or income, you might reevaluate your financial priorities in your will. You may want to leave more money to your children or a charity. You could also look for ways to shield your money from taxes through gifts or a donor advised fund.
Death of executors or heirs
You may have designated someone in your will to serve as executor of your estate. However, if your executor candidate dies before you do, you should consider naming someone new in your will to be the executor. Similarly, if an heir dies, you may want to assign the assets that heir was to receive to a different person.
Marriage of your child
If your child marries, you may worry that if your child divorces later on, your child’s ex may reap a portion of your child’s inheritance. Ideally, your child would sign a prenuptial agreement that would guard an inheritance, but if not, you may use your will to create trusts to convey an inheritance to your child while protecting it from a divorce.