Each year, about 60 million people die around the world. While you don’t know when your time is up, it’s important to prepare and make sure that your family will be covered.
Writing your last will might seem overwhelming, and common mistakes could occur. Read on and see common last will mistakes in order to avoid them in the future!
Can You Write the Will Yourself?
Some states will allow you to create your own will. You can have what’s called a holographic will, which is a handwritten will.
There are different software that you can use to write your will as well. It tends to be a better option to work with an attorney who does wills in order to make sure that the information is accurate.
If you decide to work with an attorney, ask in advance what you should bring to the meeting. It’s a good idea to write out all of your liabilities, assets, and potential beneficiaries.
1. Not Updating Your Will
You might want to find a last will and testament attorney in order to make sure that your will is updated. Different life events will make you want to update your will. Whether that’s a death, birth of a child, divorce, or another major event.
The details in wills need to be updated every so often to make sure that everything is still accurate. If you don’t, this could affect your inheritances and cause your estate to be in error. Keep in mind that you’ll need to include all assets including the digital and physical ones.
2. No Appointed Executor
Your last will executor should be chosen by you in advance. Remember that they’ll be in charge of administering your estate, so you’ll want to be careful. If your executor can’t perform the job anymore, make sure to change that person.
3. Not Including Intended Beneficiaries
Choosing a will beneficiary is vital. If you’re going to leave someone out of your will, you’ll want to state why they’re not in it. Keep in mind that some states won’t allow the beneficiary and the person who was a witness at the will signing to be the same person.
4. Not Including Passing Property
Certain assets such as bank accounts and insurance can pass directly to the beneficiary. A professional can guide you and ensure that all of the assets are properly managed.
5. Joint Tenancy Assets
This is where another individual can write checks on a bank account. This is also when they become the owner of real estate after the death of the grantor.
This can cause confusion with litigation. It can lead to the joint tenant not understanding that the account passes to the joint tenant instead of the estate.
6. Leaving Gifts for Minors
Depending on your location, if a child is a minor, they might not be able to inherit anything from your estate. This will cause complications in the probate of your estate. It can lead to the courts having to decide who will guard the assets until they reach the age of maturity.
7. Thinking That It’ll Accomplish Everything
While your will can help with many things, including the distribution of your estate, it doesn’t help with everything. It doesn’t help if you become incapacitated. It’s also not the right place to talk about your burial or funeral wishes.
8. Do-It-Yourself Wills
It’s tempting to do your will yourself, especially because you see it as saving money and time. In the end, it might wind up costing your family much more time and money. This can lead to failure in distributing your estate.
9. Forgetting About Taxes
If you forget about potential debts including bills and taxes, it could mean that your family will receive less. While the federal estate tax is high, don’t think that your estate won’t fall under it.
There are different thresholds that can change it. Life insurance trust and proceeds might still be taxable as well.
10. Getting Facts Wrong
Make sure that you get all facts correct regarding your beneficiaries. This can include their relationship to you, location, and other descriptions. Never use nicknames for people either.
Make sure that there’s no doubt when it comes to the accuracy of their information. This also needs to include their accurate and full names as well.
11. Leaving Blanks
If you use an online form, make sure that you double-check that everything is correct. Go through and fix any blanks that you find. If you miss a section, it can mean problems for your beneficiaries later.
12. Not Executing Your Will
You need to make sure that your will is executed regarding the laws in your area. If you don’t, then it won’t be valid. You’ll normally need to have at least one witness and sign and date it.
13. Not Specifying Guardianship
If your children are still minors when you die, you’ll want to have guardianship listed in case anything happens to you or your spouse. Think of a person that you’ll feel comfortable taking care of your children until they’re old enough to take care of themselves.
Exploring How To Avoid Last Will Mistakes
After exploring this complete guide on last will mistakes, you should have a better idea of what to avoid. Take your time drafting up your will, and for the best results, work with an attorney who specializes in wills.
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