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How often should I update it?

It's a good idea to review your will every year or so to make sure it remains current with your wishes. Also check it after major life changes, including the death of one of your heirs; the birth of a potential new heir; a significant shift in your financial situation; major adjustments to your investment portfolio; real estate purchases and sales; and changes to the tax code.

Meanwhile, make sure to review the beneficiary designations on your 401(k), IRA, pension and insurance policies: Assets in those accounts will be transferred automatically to your named beneficiaries when you die, even if your will says otherwise.