A will is an essential estate planning document that outlines how to distribute your assets after your death. It also lets you designate guardianship for any minor children you have.

Although having a will is important, a survey performed by Caring.com discovered that 4 out of 10 Americans have not created a will or trust. Not only should you make estate planning a priority, but you should also update your will when certain life situations happen.

After you have your first child

Having your first child is a good time to update your will or create one if you have yet to do so. You should use this opportunity to name a guardian who will take on the legal responsibility of caring for your child if you die.

Following divorce or marriage

When you get divorced, your former spouse no longer has a right to your estate. When you get married, your spouse will gain the right to certain assets. Both of these life events warrant looking over your will and making changes as necessary.

After you accumulate new assets

If your personal wealth changes, you should incorporate this into your will. For example, if a grandparent dies and leaves you an inheritance, or your business becomes profitable, you should make changes to your will.

Even if nothing major has happened in your life, you should plan on reviewing your will about once a year. This will give you the chance to identify where you need to make changes as life progresses.

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