The 7 Biggest Mistakes People Make In Their Wills, According To Estate Lawyers
Writing a will is important, as it helps distribute your assets and property after you pass away, according to your wishes. However, many people make mistakes when drafting their wills, which can result in unintended consequences and legal battles. We looked at expert opinions and came up with a list of the seven biggest mistakes people make in their wills, as advised by estate lawyers.
Mistake #1: Not Having a Plan B
According to many estate lawyers, one of the biggest mistakes people make is not having a backup plan in case their original plan fails. A will can appoint an executor who will carry out their wishes. However, if the executor cannot fulfill the role for some reason, such as death or incapacity, then the will should have a secondary executor appointed as a backup option.
Mistake #2: Not Having a Will at All
This may seem obvious, but many people fail to make a will altogether, leaving their assets to be distributed according to state laws. This can result in unintended consequences, particularly for unmarried couples or those with blended families. Therefore, experts advise everyone to draft a will, no matter how small their estate is.
Mistake #3: Mathematical Mistakes
Small mistakes, such as mathematical errors, can have a significant impact on how your assets are distributed. Therefore, it’s crucial to double-check that all calculations are correct. Working with an estate lawyer or financial advisor can help prevent mistakes.
Mistake #4: Not Considering Age of Children
If you have children, it’s crucial to consider their age when drafting your will. Young children cannot inherit property, so it’s important to appoint a guardian who can manage the assets on their behalf. Estate lawyers advise drafting a separate trust to hold assets for minors, which can be managed by a trustee until the child reaches adulthood.
Mistake #5: Not Updating the Will
Many people draft a will and then forget about it. However, it’s essential to update your will regularly, especially after life-changing events, such as the birth of a child, divorce, or marriage.
Mistake #6: Not Including All Assets
When drafting a will, it’s important to include all assets, not just the obvious ones like property or investments. Other assets may include digital assets, business interests, or sentimental items. Forgetting to include these items can result in unintended consequences.
Mistake #7: Choosing the Wrong Executor
Choosing an executor or personal representative is a critical decision, as they will be responsible for carrying out the wishes of the deceased. Many people appoint family members or friends, but an estate lawyer advises considering hiring a professional executor to avoid any conflicts of interest or mishandling of assets.
Writing a will is an important task that should not be taken lightly. To ensure that your assets are distributed as you wish, avoid making the seven mistakes listed above. Consider consulting an estate lawyer, financial advisor, or other trusted professionals to ensure that your will is in order.