There are many components of your estate plan, but your will is the foundation. This document gives you the control to say what happens to your personal assets after you die.
The American Bar Association states that your will also gives you an opportunity to name a legal guardian for any minor children. Although creating a will is a good place to start, you should update this document if you encounter any of these life situations.
1. You have a child
When you welcome a new child into your family, either through birth or adoption, sit down and review your will. Make sure you name a legal guardian for this new child in your estate planning documents.
2. You get married or divorced
If you get married, get divorced or your spouse dies, review your will to change the beneficiaries in this document. Do this as soon as possible following your marriage or divorce to ensure your assets go to the people you want when you die.
3. Your financial status changes
A sudden increase in your wealth is a pleasant surprise and a reason to look over your will again. You may want to increase the gifts to your beneficiaries, add or change beneficiaries or leave a gift to a favorite charity.
Beyond these life changes, you should plan on reviewing and updating your will on a regular basis. For most people, looking over their will on a yearly basis is often enough to account for any major life changes.