Your will is often treated like that slow cooker in your kitchen cabinet: Set it and forget it. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s been a year (or more) since you signed your will and you probably haven’t thought much about it. It’s not an “exciting” document that needs to be constantly revised. But since you signed it, you’ve been reminded to make sure you had electronic access to your documents. Then you were reminded to check your beneficiary designations and then also check in with your financial planner. And with all of the data breaches and other threats to our privacy, you’ve hopefully checked the safety of your passwords. Since you’ve done all of those steps, why not take a few minutes and check your will.
Do I Need To Do Anything?
It should only take you 5 minutes, but you should take a quick look at your will. I know you have access to your will in your electronic portal, but this is a good time to look at the hard copy, the original version of your will. This will help you know where it is actually located. Hopefully, it is not located in a safe-deposit box!
Once you’ve located it, you can also make sure all your other important documents are in their right places as well. If you find that you’re missing a document, now would be a good time to locate it (if you can’t locate it, what chance does someone else have?). If you still can’t find it, give your lawyer a call and they should be able to print out a new copy for you to sign (and they can do updates to that document if you need it).
Check your will to make sure that it still represents your wishes. In the past year, many things could have changed. Maybe you have a new grandchild. Or maybe one of your kids got married. There are infinite possibilities. But a quick 5-minute review should tell you whether you need to make any changes.