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How often should you take another look at your will?

You want to get a will drafted and filed, but you don't think this is something you can just do once and then forget about. How often should you get it back out and go over the details?

Generally speaking, it is best to do this twice per decade, at the very least. Life changes fast. While you don't need a new will every six months, you definitely do not want to pass away with a will that you last considered 20 years ago.

However, it is probably more important to consider different changes and life events that mean it is time to get your will out again. You can't predict these. Waiting for five years just because that is the rule of thumb could be a mistake.

For example, say that you get divorced. Your assets get split up between you and your ex. Now you directly control a lot less. You also need to make sure that nothing -- like a life insurance policy -- goes straight to your ex. On top of that, you need to consider his or her future plans and how you can still provide for your children with what you have. There is no guarantee your ex will.

Other important events include significant financial changes, major legal changes and the birth of more children or grandchildren. Any time one of those events takes place, go over your will and make the necessary revisions.

Having a rock-solid estate plan is very important for your children's future. Be sure you know exactly what legal steps you should take.

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