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This happens at any time when addition of the fleeting "weak nuclear force" to the ever-present electrostatic repulsion exceeds the binding energy required to hold the nucleus together.
This activity on determining age of rocks and fossils is intended for 8th or 9th grade students.
If the nucleus has not yet decayed, there is always that same, slight chance that it will change in the near future.
Atomic nuclei are held together by an attraction between the large nuclear particles (protons and neutrons) that is known as the "strong nuclear force", which must exceed the electrostatic repulsion between the protons within the nucleus.
Students not only want to know how old a fossil is, but they want to know how that age was determined.
Some very straightforward principles are used to determine the age of fossils.