One of the advantages of creating a will is that this document can adapt as your life circumstances change. Even if you are not yet completely sure how you want your assets divided upon your death, creating a will gives you peace of mind that your estate will follow your wishes.

Most guidelines recommend that you review your will every three to five years to ensure that the document still matches your wishes. While you can specifically change your will whenever you like, some life events automatically change how your will addresses your assets.

Making changes to your will

Previously, most people would amend or add a document called a codicil to their will when they wanted to change an aspect of the will. However, now, it is often just as easy to create a new will and sign it into effect.

When changing your will, the same requirement of two witnesses or a notary applies.

Major life events

Other than your own desire to adjust your will, major life events can affect the management of your estate in the state of Virginia. A few events that may make you want to revisit your will include:

  • Marriage
  • Remarriage
  • Divorce
  • The birth of a child
  • The adoption of a child or stepchild

In those cases, certain parts of your estate may pass automatically to your spouse or children unless otherwise stated in your will.

Other circumstances that may change your will

Outside of legally adding a member to your family, other life events may trigger you to change your will. One example is the birth of a grandchild. While your estate would not automatically include grandchildren, you may have assets that you want to gift to grandchildren upon your passing.

Many people find that they want to update their will after:

  • A major illness or other health complication
  • Establishing a business
  • Buying property

Any event that significantly changes your financial situation should encourage you to check whether your will still stands as written.