As more and more baby boomers hit retirement age, many already have a will in place, but how often do you need to change it as you age? Many financial experts and estate planning attorneys advise you revisit it every five years as you get older—to make sure it’s updated.
Here are some reasons you might want to update your estate plan or will sooner rather than later:
- You haven’t made a living will. Now is the time to make a living will, when you are healthy and of sound mind. You want to make sure your spouse, children or family members know what types of medical treatment you’ll want to receive in certain circumstances. You also may decide to appoint a power of attorney, so someone can make health care decisions for you if you later develop a debilitating illness. These are both important parts of good estate planning.
- You want to add or remove a beneficiary. If you have remarried, recently divorced or become a grandparent in the last five years, you may want to update your will accordingly. Often for those over 50 who’ve recently divorced, splitting a retirement account or estate can be the largest financial transaction of your life, so revising your will is important at that time.
- You’ve received a large sum of money or had a financial setback. Both can have implications on your will and how you want to distribute your assets.
- The tax law has changed. Major changes in tax law have implications on your estate planning, so going over those with a trusted attorney and financial advisor is especially important as you age because you want to pass on your wealth while still having enough to cover any future elder care costs.
Taking care of your estate plan will give you peace of mind as you age. You never know when a sudden illness or serious medical issue will surface, which might make it difficult to get a complete will drafted. Doing it now will be easier on you and your family.