These days, more and more people are taking estate planning more seriously and drafting wills to leave something for their loved ones when they pass on. However, not everyone who creates a will does it correctly. Drafting a will can be a complex matter and it’s easy to make mistakes if you don’t have someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side.
Here are some common will mistakes:
Choosing the Wrong Executor
Choosing the executor of your will isn’t a decision you should take lightly. This person will be responsible for distributing your assets to heirs and ensuring all your wishes are carried out. It’s important to choose a person who is responsible, trustworthy and actually has the time to do the job. You should discuss the job with the person you want to appoint beforehand. If you can’t find anyone among your friends or family who can do the job, you can always hire an attorney.
Not Updating Your Will
It is likely that you will have to make changes to your will at least once or twice in your lifetime. When a major life change occurs, such as the birth of a child or divorce, it is crucial to update your will. Otherwise, your assets might end up in the wrong hands. For example, if you divorced your spouse years ago and never took him or her out of your will, he or she will inherit your assets upon your death.
Failing to Plan for Disability
Even if you are perfectly healthy now, you never know if you will suffer a mental or physical disability later in your life. If that happens, it is important to have a proper place in place. You should decide who will handle your finances and make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you do become disabled.
Not Appointing a Guardian for Your Children
No parent likes to think about not being around for their young children. However, it is still important to make the proper arrangements if the unexpected does happen. If you have minor children, you should choose a guardian who can take care of them if you die unexpectedly. This person should be kind, responsible and financially stable. Be sure to talk to person you want to appoint as guardian beforehand.
Failing to Follow Guidelines
Each state has their own set of guidelines about what constitutes a legal will. For example, most states require a person to be at least 18 to create a will. They also generally require there to be at least one witness. It is important to educate yourself about the requirements in your state to ensure your will is valid.
If you want to create a will, consider speaking to an experienced estate planning lawyer trusts. He or she is aware of all the laws in your state and can help you draft a clear and valid will that carries out all of your wishes.