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Should you update your will frequently?

You know that you need a will, and you know that it is best not to put off writing it. However, you also feel like you have decades left -- barring an accident or something else unexpected -- before your heirs will need to use that will.

As such, you start wondering about updating the will. Should you do it frequently? What are the requirements?

There are no requirements. Legally, you don't have to update it at all. Some people never do.

However, this is a risk. An outdated will may leave assets to people who passed away or it may not address assets that you gained after writing it. Essentially, it may not actually reflect your wishes at the time that your heirs need it most.

To avoid this, some people take the approach of updating it on a schedule. Every three years, for instance, they go through it and check everything over.

However, you may be better off to consider major changes in your life and update it then, no matter how long it has been since you did it before. Some of these changes could include having a child, getting a new grandchild, getting divorced, getting married, having an heir pass away, buying a new home, selling a business and even having a major falling out with an heir. These are just a few examples, as every situation is unique.

The key is to do what you can to make sure the will really reflects what you want to happen with your estate. Take the time to look into all of your options and the steps you'll need to take.

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