A will is designed to protect your loved ones, and also uphold the legacy that youíve worked so hard to build. If you don’t have a will in place, the consequences can be devastating. Simply put, the law decides what parts of your estate get assigned to your relatives, and they have their own rules for making this happen. This means that you have to be careful to build a will. But if what if your will is hiding mistakes that could still leave your heirs without the estate that they deserve? That’s what this guide is hoping to clarify for you. As long as you know what you have to do in order to tighten up your will, the more likely it is that your heirs will get the estate and you’ll be comforted with the fact that they will truly be taken care of after you’re no longer here.
There are essentially five big mistakes that happen all of the time. We’ll go into them, and help you find solutions around them.
1. Lack of Witnessing
Think you can just print out a will or write one up yourself, and just stick it in a box on your shelf? That’s not the case at all. If you go this route, be prepared to have this will challenged in court. The right way to go about things is to have the will witnessed properly. That is the only way a will can be valid in the first place.
2. Lack of Sound Mind
If you are mentally incapacitated at the time of the will, then the will can be open to legal challenge. Now, legal challenge doesn’t mean the will won’t be upheld by the courts but it’s best to try to reduce the risk of challenge where you can.
3. Bad Spelling
If things aren’t spelled correctly, it can open the door to challenges. Again, these challenge risks can be difficult to deal with, so it’s best to cut the risk where you can by sound strategy. If you’re going to have a will drawn up, make sure that everything is spelled out correctly. This includes not only your children and family friends, but also charities that you want to support after your death.
4. Children Aren’t Named Directly
A will doesn’t automatically protect your kids, so it’s important to name them somewhere in the will. You need to also name a guardian that will be responsible for the estate until the children are 18. Be sure that it’s a guardian you really trust, as they will have a lot of power over the estate!
5. Lack of Details
Where do you want to be buried? Do you want to be cremated instead of buried? People don’t think about these things when they’re alive and when they pass away, these are questions that have to be urgently addressed. The family wants to respect your passing by respecting your wishes, but if they don’t know what you want nothing can get done. People think that a will is only for financial concerns. A will is the last message that you have to your friends and family. Be as detailed as possible and truly think about all of your life, rather than just about money. For example, who will get your things? You might have a valuable collection that you want to pass on to your children or even a close friend, but no one knows until you spell it out in the will.
So, who should do your will? Getting a solicitor to do your will is still the best option, even though there are online outfits that will let you print out a will. There are very few substitutes from the real world experience that solicitors bring to the table. A true legal professional hired to be your advocate is going to try to look “beyond the horizon” to find any problems that may surface long after the will has been completed. It might cost you a bit upfront, but the peace of mind is tremendous.