Writing a will is one way you can show your concern and care for your surviving family members in Michigan. It is also invaluable in providing you with the means to exert some control over what happens to your assets, valuables and sentimental possessions after you pass away.

What you may not realize is that writing a will is only the first step to developing an effective estate plan. Throughout your life, impactful circumstances may create the need to modify or change your will.

When change is necessary

Every few years, it is wise to read through your will and verify that it is still applicable to your situation and lifestyle. Notable changes in your life that may affect your will may upend your plans entirely if they are not taken into consideration. According to Forbes, some of the reasons you may need to change your will include the following:

  • You decide to begin giving away some of your inheritance through gifting which ultimately downsizes your will.
  • You recognize that one of your children has assumed all of the responsibilities associated with your care and well-being.
  • You sold the family home or have relocated to another state.
  • One or more of your beneficiaries passes away.
  • The charities or entities you originally wanted to gift your money to no longer interest you.
  • Your financial situation has changed or you acquired another family member’s inheritance.

Consequences of oversight

If you neglect to update your will despite ongoing and notable changes throughout your life, its outcome may not provide what you desire. For example, if you divorce your spouse, receive a significant advancement in your earnings and have several grandchildren added to your family but fail to update your will, your inheritance may end up with your ex. Your grandchildren may never see any portion of your inheritance and assets not accounted for may fall into the hands of the state to determine their outcome. Maintaining control over your estate is more effective when you periodically verify that your will still works for your situation.