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Adding a list of property to your will

You may know that it's quite important to update your will. Despite the fact that most people don't do it often enough--one study found that a full 86 percent of people had not updated at all in the previous five years--you know that changing circumstances and assets have to be recorded. After all, a will that doesn't even address your new home or your divorce isn't going to fit very well with the reality of your circumstances.

However, you may be frustrated because this makes it seem like you need to update it every time you buy something. If you trade your BMW in every four years for the newest model, do you need to change the will? What if you buy an expensive piece of art, a new watch, or a vintage collector's item? What if you decide to sell the vacation home and then by another one six months later?

As you can imagine, depending how often you buy things, you could be updating your will every few months to stay current. If that seems like too much, there is a solution.

Rather than updating your will, you can make a list of current assets. In the will, write that the executor is supposed to look at the list and divide things evenly between your heirs. Then, whenever you buy something, you just have to jot it down on that list, write your initials next to it, and know that it's going to be accounted for. This is a faster, easier way to make sure your property is all considered.

If you're going to do this, be sure you know exactly what legal steps to take to make it official in New York.

Source: Market Watch, "Make your heirs happy: Update your will," Elizabeth O'Brien, accessed April 19, 2016

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