Midwest Health Foundation logo

17 Reasons to Update Your Will

You have a will, so you can rest easy, right? Not necessarily. If your will is outdated, it can actually cause more harm than good. Even though it can provide for some contingencies, an old will cannot cover every change that may have occurred since it was first drafted. Here are 17 reasons it may be time for an update.

Account for What Is Different
Professionals advise that you review your will every few years and more often if situations such as the following have occurred since you last updated your will.

1.Family changes. Events such as marriage, divorce, death, birth or adoption may affect how your estate will be distributed, who should act as guardian for your dependents and who should be named as executor or personal representative of your estate.

2.Relocating to a new state. Laws among the states vary. Moving to a new state or purchasing property in another state can affect estate plans and how property in that new state will be taxed or distributed.

3.Changes in your estate’s value. When you made your will, your assets may have been relatively modest. Now the value may be larger and your will no longer reflects how you would like to divide your estate.

4.Tax law changes. Federal and state tax laws are constantly changing, so you will want to be aware of any updates that affect you. An outdated estate plan may fail to take advantage of strategies that will minimize taxes.

5.Support a favorite cause. If you have developed a connection to an organization, such as Midwest Health Foundation, you may want to benefit a particular charity with a gift in your estate. Contact us for sample language you can share with your attorney to include a gift to Midwest Health Foundation in your will.

17 Reasons to Update Your Will

Unleash Your Will Power

If you need to make or revise a will here are some things you can do with it.

6.Make gifts. You can give jewelry, art or other prized possessions to those who will appreciate them.

7.Create a trust for your loved ones. This is a good way to protect family and safeguard money. A professional trustee can manage your money wisely and make sure your beneficiaries receive enough income to maintain their standard of living.

8.Name your executor or personal representative. Before you choose an executor or personal representative, weigh the qualifications of your choice against the many critical duties required.

9.Name a guardian for a child or a dependent under your care. Choose someone who is willing and qualified to take the job and who shares your values and way of life.

10.Take care of your pets. You can identify potential caregivers for your pet or set up a trust for their care.

11.Pass on a closely held business. You can provide for the management and disposition of your interest in a closely held business to preserve its value and your family’s participation.

While you are reviewing your will, do not forget to review your powers of attorney and living will or advance directive as well. It is important that your health care power of attorney and financial power of attorney appoint a trusted individual or individuals to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so. A living will or advance directive documents your wishes regarding life-sustaining care. It can be as detailed or as simple as you like.

17 Reasons to Update Your Will

Use Your Will to Give Back

Do you want to help support Midwest Health Foundation after your lifetime? If so, there are many ways you can do this in your will. Here are some suggestions.

12.Give Midwest Health Foundation a share of what is left in your estate after other obligations are met.

13.Give Midwest Health Foundation a specific amount of cash or securities.

14.Leave certain personal or real property to Midwest Health Foundation and allow Midwest Health Foundation to decide whether to keep it or sell it.

15.Make a contingent bequest. We will receive certain assets only if a named individual does not survive you. For example, you could provide for us to receive a gift only if your spouse does not survive you. Such a provision recognizes the need to provide first for family members or loved ones.

16.Create a charitable remainder trust to pay an income to your spouse or other loved one(s) for life, and designate the remaining principal for Midwest Health Foundation.

17.Create a charitable lead trust to pay income to Midwest Health Foundation for a number of years, or for another person’s lifetime, with the trust assets eventually being distributed to your family.

17 Reasons to Update Your Will

Next Steps

To make sure your will accomplishes all you intend, seek the help of an attorney who specializes in estate planning. If Midwest Health Foundation fits into your plans, we can help you choose the method of giving that best satisfies your wishes and our needs.

Meghan Moreno
Vice President
Phone: 312-622-3739

Meet the team

17 Reasons to Update Your Will

Let us know your questions.

I Have a Question

Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address

Thank You for Contacting Us

Someone from Midwest Health Foundation will be in contact with you soon. If you need to speak to us immediately, please call us at 312-622-3739.