Have a will? Smart. Keeping it updated? Even better.
When the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, passed away last year, the news carried an all-too-familiar story: another wealthy celebrity dying without a will. Unfortunately, now advisors and family members will have to put affairs in order without the benefit of pre-planning or knowing her final wishes. But for those of us who have remembered to prepare a will, there is a different but equally important task: keeping that will up to date as your life circumstances change.
When is it time for a review or an update? Consider one, if:
- You (or one of your beneficiaries) get married, separated, or divorced.
- Your executor or beneficiaries move to another province or country.
- You acquire real estate in a new province or country.
- You acquire new dependants — for example, if your elderly parents move in with you.
- You acquire a new potential beneficiary, such as a grandchild.
- Your executor or one of your beneficiaries passes away.
- Your executor or trustees are no longer willing or able to accept their roles.
- There is a significant change in your net worth (for example, you receive an inheritance).
Even if there have been no major changes, it’s a good idea to review your will with a professional every year or two. That way, you can be confident that it continues to reflect your wishes and aligns with current tax legislation and family law.