Creating a will is essential in protecting your estate and ensuring your assets go to your intended beneficiaries. However, it would help to be careful, as mistakes can lead to an invalid will. The following are examples of errors you might want to avoid:
Ignoring your state’s laws
Different states tend to have specific provisions related to wills. It is crucial to be familiar with and observe these rules, or your wishes might not be legally enforceable.
Missing some assets
Forgetting to include certain assets in your will may extend the probate process after you pass on. Such an outcome can be costly for your beneficiaries, and you might be unable to control who receives these missing assets.
Issuing vague instructions
Failing to provide clear instructions may not automatically invalidate your will, but it might make it difficult to honor your last wishes. Unclear directions can lead to confusion, and some parties may even contest your will because of them.
Failing to use accurate names
You should identify your beneficiaries correctly by using their full name in your will. Failure to do so might hinder them from receiving your assets as you intended.
Keeping copies of your previous wills
It is important to update your will as regularly as possible, especially when you receive new assets or go through significant milestones like marriage or the birth of a child. After each update, it is also wise to destroy the previous will. Otherwise, some people may find and use them to contest your most recent will, leading to potentially lengthy and costly legal battles.
Mistakes in your will can become inconvenient for your beneficiaries. Consulting with an estate planning attorney helps ensure that your will is enforceable and effectively protects your assets.