Life-Changing Events that May Mean It’s Time to Update Your Will
Drafting a will is an essential step of any estate plan. But creating a will is not a one-time event. When should you update your will?
While the length of time between each update may vary, there are several life-changing events that may indicate it’s time to update your will. This article lists some of these events.
Recently Moved Out of Province or Out of Country
Different provinces and territories in Canada may have different estate laws. Estate law, which covers wills, Powers of Attorney and probate fees, is governed by the provinces and territories. If you have recently moved between provinces, you may consider updating your will in the new jurisdiction.
Similarly, you may wish to update your will if you have recently moved to a different country as estate laws will be quite different than those of Canada and your will may not be valid in the country in which you now live.
Change in Marital Status
If you have recently married or are getting divorced or have separated, you should definitely update your will. If you married, you may wish to determine which assets get passed on to your new spouse. If your new spouse has children (your stepchildren), you may also wish to add them to your will as beneficiaries. If you are getting a divorce or have separated, you may wish to remove your (soon to be) ex-spouse as a beneficiary named in your current will.
Have Children or Grandchildren
While becoming a parent is one of the main reasons many create a will in the first place, if you already have a will, it may be imperative for you to consider updating your will which can allow you to leave your children protected if something happens to you. New grandchildren may also a trigger a wish to update your will to modify asset distribution.
Changes in Your Net Worth (Assets)
If your current will spells out exactly how much money you will give to your beneficiaries, but your net worth (your total assets less what you owe) has changed since you wrote your will—whether it has grown or shrunk—the dollar amount of your estate is no longer the same.
You may wish to reconfigure how your current assets are to be distributed, especially for large possessions already sold or those that have changed in value (such as properties or shares of ownership in a company), to ensure the value of your gift is what you had in mind across all beneficiaries.
Changes in Laws
Laws do change over time and this may affect the validity of your will. Additionally, changes in laws related to taxes and estates may make other estate planning strategies more attractive for your wealth protection and preservation journey.
While the above life-changing events are just some of the possible reasons that may require you to review and update your will, we advise you to consult with trusted professionals who are well versed in estate planning to assess whether it is time to update your will.
At Bloom Investment Counsel, Inc. we are happy to work with all your trusted partners to protect, preserve and build lasting family wealth.
Bloom Investment Counsel, Inc. is a well-established Toronto-based independent, privately-owned boutique investment management firm providing actively managed, customized Canadian and U.S. dividend-paying portfolios for wealthy individuals, family offices, foundations, corporations, institutions and trusts.
Founded in 1985, Bloom has experience in managing in excess of $2.5B in assets over the years. We believe that generating independent cash flow is central to the success of our clients’ portfolios because it provides capital for the present day, if needed, while continuing to preserve and build wealth for the future.
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This content is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, investment, tax, legal or accounting advice nor does it constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities referred to. Individual circumstances and current events are critical to sound investment planning; anyone wishing to act on this content should consult with his or her financial partner or advisor.