A will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets will be distributed after their death. It is an important tool for ensuring that your loved ones are cared for and your wishes are respected. However, just like any other legal document, a will needs to be updated from time to time to reflect changes in your life.
In this blog, we will discuss the signs that it’s time to update your will.
Sign #1: Life Changes
One of the most common reasons for updating a will is a change in your life circumstances. For example, if you get married or divorced, have children, or move to a new province, you may need to update your will to reflect these changes.
Failing to update your will after a major life change can result in unintended consequences, such as leaving assets to an ex-spouse or leaving out a new child.
Sign #2: Changes in Your Financial Situation
Another sign that it’s time to update your will is a change in your financial situation. If you’ve acquired new assets, such as a home or investments, or if you’ve sold assets, you may need to update your will to ensure that your beneficiaries receive the assets you want and that your estate is distributed as you intended.
Sign #3: Changes in Your Health
Your health can also be a reason to update your will. If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness or your health has deteriorated, you may want to update your will to reflect your wishes for end-of-life care and ensure that your beneficiaries are aware of any special needs you may have.
Sign #4: Changes in Your Relationship with Beneficiaries
If your relationship with your beneficiaries has changed, you may need to update your will. For example, if you’ve had a falling out with a family member, you may not want to leave them any assets.
Alternatively, if you’ve developed a new relationship with someone, such as a partner or stepchild, you may want to include them in your will.
Sign #5: Changes in Tax Laws
Tax laws can change from year to year, and these changes can affect your estate planning. If there have been changes to tax laws since you last updated your will, you should consult with a lawyer to ensure that your will is still tax-efficient.
Sign #6: Changes in Provincial Laws
In British Columbia, there have been changes to the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA) in recent years. For example, in 2014, WESA introduced the concept of a “spousal home,” which is a home that is owned by one spouse but used as a family residence.
If you own a spousal home, you may need to update your will to reflect this change in the law.
Sign #7: Your Will Is Outdated
Finally, a sign that it’s time to update your will is that it’s simply outdated. If your will was drafted many years ago, it may not reflect your current wishes or the current laws. By updating your will, you can ensure that your wishes are respected and that your estate is distributed as you intended.
Updating your will is an important part of estate planning. By keeping your will up-to-date, you can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of and that your wishes are respected.
If you’ve experienced any of the signs discussed in this article, or if it’s been a while since you last updated your will, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer to ensure that your will reflects your current wishes and laws.
If you need assistance with updating or creating a will, contact Dreyer and Associates, your trusted wills and estates lawyer in Langley, BC. Our team of legal professionals can help ensure that your wishes are respected and that your estate is distributed as you intended. Reach out to Dreyer and Associates today to schedule your consultation.