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How often should you update your will?

Drafting a will is one of the best ways to prepare for the end of your life in California; while it's something that people often feel uncomfortable talking about, it's very important to do it so that your affairs are handled correctly after you pass away. However, once you draft the will, you don't want to just put it aside and forget about it. It needs to be updated.

Many experts say that it's best to update your will -- or at least review it to make sure it still fits your situation -- each year. You also want to update it when you are facing a significant change in your life, even if you've looked it over within the previous year.

For instance, if you get a divorce, you may want to update your will so that you leave the money to your children or other relatives, rather than your ex-spouse. If you come into a lot of money or new property, you may also want to update it to reflect this change.

Often, you want to look at the will when buying or selling large items, like cars, boats or real estate. You may have originally decided to leave the summer home to your children, for example, but you need to adjust that if you sold the home and bought a different one. Wills also need to be specific regarding vehicles and things of this nature, so buying a new car could bring about a change.

When doing estate planning and officially updating your will, be sure you know what must be done to make the changes legal.

Source: CNN, "Ultimate guide to retirement -- How often should I update it?," accessed June 26, 2015

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